Ideas of and issues in Lived Experience leadership including overcoming barriers.
Wellways has a long history of championing lived experience and peer leadership and during the event we will explore what transformation needs to occur in governance structures and boards to encourage people with a lived experience to engage.
The Keynote address will be Debbie Hamilton, a Systemic Mental Health Advocate. A panel discussion with lived experience and governance experts will then follow. Also included is the launch of the Victorian Mental Illness Awareness Council’s (VMIAC) – ‘Consumers Leading in Governance’ Pilot Program.
Commissioned by Mind and NSUN, this report collates the contributions provided by people with Lived Experience through 106 survey submissions, 32 interviews and 7 focus groups with 31 people. It was inspired by a desire to understand the complexities of the ‘Lived Experience Leadership’ field and determine any supportive role Mind, NSUN and other mental health organisations might play.
Contributions were gathered from August 2020 until January 2021. This report is explicitly plural. Its intention is to honour and reflect the diversity in experiences and positions expressed by contributors rather than provide a neat narrative. As such, it includes many quotes - some of which may contradict one another, or offer another angle.
Chair Rai Waddingham facilitates a discussion with panellists Bethan Edwards, Jess Pons, Shuranjeet Singh, and Tamar Jeynes – What about ‘Lived Experience Leadership’?
The term ‘Leadership’ is contentious. It can validate, invalidate, excite, irritate and bore people. The phrase ‘Lived Experience Leadership’ can broadly be used to encompass initiatives and situations where people with lived experience are involved in organising and/or influencing… whether that is as part of a named (and paid, or voluntary) role or not, whether it is seen or unseen, whether it involves a few people or thousands, whether it’s involvement, co-production, research, peer support, community development, media, training, organising, writing, activism, policy.
Produced by the Victorian Mental Illness Awareness Council (VMIAC) and building on its consultations with mental health consumers across the state, asking them to imagine a system “that meets their needs and places them at the centre of their own life”.
In the video, consumers imagine a new world of mental health care that recognises that ‘one size doesn’t fit all’, where most acute beds are in an array of community settings and committed to healing “through strengths-based solutions, focused therapies and support”, and nature is recognised as an integral component of healing. In this future, co-design, co-production and collaboration are the foundation of the treatment service system, and the predominant group of workers are peer workers and therapists who have a holistic approach to therapy, all Medicare funded. An exciting development, they say, is the establishment of a collaborative centre which brings together consumers, carers, researchers and clinical services to undertake research on the best trauma- informed models of intervention and treatment – with a big focus on the impact of the social determinants of health, including housing and jobs.
Globally, there has been an emphasis on the importance and value of involving people with lived experience of mental health conditions in service delivery, development and leadership. Such individuals have taken on various roles, from peer support specialists and other specialised professions to leadership in mainstream industries. There are, however, still obstacles to overcome before it is possible to fully include people with lived experience at all levels in the mental health and related sectors.
This article discusses the benefits, both to the individual and to the public, of involving persons with lived experience in service delivery, development and leadership.
The National Mental Health Consumer and Carer Forum and the National Primary Health Network Mental Health Lived Experience Engagement Network acknowledge the Traditional Custodians of the lands and waters on which we work and live on across Australia. We recognise their continuing connection to land, waters, culture and community. We pay our respects to Elders past and present.
“A lived experience recognises the effects of ongoing negative historical impacts and or specific events on the social and emotional wellbeing of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples. It encompasses the cultural, spiritual, physical, emotional and mental wellbeing of the individual, family or community.
“People with lived or living experience of suicide are those who have experienced suicidal thoughts, survived a suicide attempt, cared for someone through a suicidal crisis, been bereaved by suicide or having a loved one who has died by suicide, acknowledging that this experience is significantly different and takes into consideration Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples ways of understanding social and emotional wellbeing.” - Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Lived Experience Centre
We welcome Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people to this site and invite them to provide any feedback or items for inclusion.
We also recognise people with lived and living experience of mental ill-health and recovery and the experience of people who are carers, families, kin, or supporters.