S42: “It’s not just about me” – how to use your own lived experience of mental illness safely, sensitively and successfully.

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By September 26, 2017 No Comments

Authors: Peta Dampney

Year: 2017

Event: 2017 TheMHS Conference

Subject: Lived Experience, Recovery,Community, Culture, Society,Promotion, Prevention, Early Intervention,Reducing Stigma and Discrimination,Policy, Strategy,Wellbeing,Suicide Prevention,Advocacy

Type of resource: Conference Presentations and Papers

Abstract: The inclusion of the voice of lived experience of mental illness and suicide is crucial to enable mental health organisations to tailor services and programs to better meet the needs and requirements of consumers. In mental health and suicide prevention we are transitioning from making assumptions of what is best to actually now making time to listen and consult with those with lived experience to incorporate new ideas and strategies to deliver more effective care and a higher level of support and understanding.

But, how do we best engage those with lived experience and look after them? And, how do we ensure that those who have lived experience contribute safely and sensitively with a duty of care to themselves and others as well as how do we determine that the process is productive and successful?

In this session, I will share aspects of my experience sharing my lived experience of mental illness and suicide with mental health organisations and the media focusing on strategies I have developed to keep myself safe, to deliver information sensitively and how I measure my success doing so.

Learning Objectives
Learning Objective 1: Audience members will gain an insight into the personal experience of sharing lived experience of mental illness and suicide with mental health organisations and the media. They will come away from the session with an understanding of the potential issues and challenges and with suggestions on strategies to overcome these. Resources to support them will be referred to and how they are useful in practice will be demonstrated via the discussion of experience.

Learning Objective 2: This presentation is extremely relevant to mental health and mental health providers to assist them in developing their own organisation's frameworks and policies for engaging the voices of lived experience in their own practice and service delivery/development. By sharing my own experience of not only having lived experience but how I have developed my own code of practice and framework in relation to sharing my lived experience safely, sensitively and successfully audience members will be better able to walk in the shoes of those who have lived experience and more effectively create systems and strategies to support and involve those who have lived experience in their organisation.

Victorian Department of Health. Doing it with us not for us: Strategic direction 2010–13. Melbourne: Hospital and Health Service Performance Division, 2011.
Larkin M, Boden ZVR, Newton E. On the brink of genuinely collaborative care: Experience-based co-design in mental health. Qualitative Health Research. 2015;25(11):1463-76.

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