Authors: Mark Loughhead, Ellie Hodges, Heather McIntyre
Event: 2022 TheMHS Conference
Subject: lived experience, workshop
Type of resource: Conference Presentations and Papers
Abstract: WORKSHOP: Lived Experience Leadership and Systems Change: A Model to Inform Our Action
This workshop aims to generate learning, awareness and discussion about the work of lived experience (LEx) leadership in transforming mental health systems and services towards achieving consumer directed recovery, inclusion and citizenship.
We will present and workshop the central characteristics, qualities, values, and skills of effective leaders as defined via South Australia’s Activating Lived Experience Leadership Project, and the resulting Model of Lived Experience Leadership.
This model was developed to guide thinking and action on LEx leadership and to encourage growth opportunities for emerging and established leaders. As a product of participatory action research, it was also produced to help LEx to be better defined, utilized and embedded as a dynamic social movement for change and justice.
Our model encourages recognition of the tremendous scope and significant complexity of LEx leadership by LEx leaders as well as non-lived experience leaders, managers, practitioners, and policy makers in mental health. This extends well beyond seeing leaders as contributing to participation projects and codesign, but on towards a vision where LEx leads innovation, peer-based organisations, and models of service and practice making the best use of the lived experience workforce. LEx leadership opens up new spaces for community action and organisation to respond to ongoing gaps and difficulties in receiving effective person-centred help. LEx leadership leads the reform agenda within public and private sectors systems via critical thinking to shift mindsets, and the promotion of recovery-oriented care, human rights, citizenship, and peer-based service solutions. It also leads in the growth of the LEx workforce, progressive workforce education and in producing consumer and carer focused research.
Addressing the conference theme:
If the scope and complexity of LEx leadership action is better defined and understood, then there is clarity of purpose, and an improved way of organizing and integrating LEx roles across the sector. This helps everyone recognise LEx purpose in the context of peer led activities, and in the context of partnerships with service and sector leaders, clinicians and practitioners.
If authentic LEx leadership is truly embedded and integrated as a system transformer, then it will create major shifts of funding, service organisation, workforce, and practice across Australia. There are key examples of these emerging shifts nationally.