Accessibility Tools

Lived Experience Leadership

— Foundational / Seminal Work

Innovative and influential work that has gone before.

O’Hagan, M. 
Leadership for empowerment and equality: a proposed model for mental health user/survivor leadership. 
International Journal of Leadership in Public Services
5(4), 34–43. 
Full Text


 The leadership of people with lived experience of mental health problems is underdeveloped, when it comes to leadership in one’s own recovery, at the service level, and at the systemic level. Unlike the mental health system, the user/survivor movement has a values base of empowerment and equality. But the movement has not yet created an explicit model of leadership based on these values.

Meagher, J. 
Partnership or pretence: a handbook of empowerment and self advocacy for consumers of psychiatric services and those who provide or plan those servi[c]es: a personal contribution to the development of the psychiatric consumer movement in Australia. 
Strawberry Hills: Psychiatric Rehabilitation Association
Membership, Subscription or Payment


In 1996 consumer advocate Janet Meagher published the first edition of this book as part of her research findings. Her goal for the book was to ensure those who have used services ‘have input regarding all aspects of service delivery, policymaking and any issues that affect their quality of life’.

Project Partners

Mental Health Lived Experience Engagement Network Logo

National Mental Health Consumer & Carer Forum logo

Acknowledgement of Country

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.

Definition of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Lived Experience

“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.

Recognition of Lived Experience

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.


Aboriginal flag
Torres Strait Islander flag
© Lived Experience Digital Library. All rights reserved.