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Using lived experience in mental health care

There is increasing recognition of the value of lived experience and the important contribution people with personal experience of mental health issues can make to mental health care.

Peer workers already exist in a number of different organisational work settings and roles. However, at the same time, many other professionals also have valuable lived experience, which could be an asset to services.

Navigating the boundaries between ‘the personal’ and ‘the professional’ is a complex task for mental health services. But Leeds and York Partnership NHS Foundation Trust are facing this challenge head on.

They have supported Jonny Lovell, a PhD student in the International Centre for Mental Health Social Research, to undertake research with practitioners and service users on sharing lived experience. And they are holding a day conference on this topic on Friday 6th November in Leeds.

Jonny will be presenting his research alongside others such as Rachel Perkins OBE and the Time to Change team.

Some questions which the conference will address include:

  • How can we work towards acknowledging and embracing all of our lived experience in the most helpful, effective and appropriate ways?
  • How can we work together to challenge the stigma which continues to exist in many services and settings?
  • How can we capture the power and promise of the wealth and breadth of lived experience available to us?

It looks like a really interesting day and a great opportunity to hear some of the early findings of Jonny’s research.

More information about the conference can be found here.

3 thoughts on “Using lived experience in mental health care

  1. Mike Bush says:

    Conference looks great but one really big draw back no mention of service users and carers or of free places for them. This is so often the case with conferences etc that the people it should be all about are excluded and disenfranchised from the event and they are the very people who have the lived experience this conference is all about! and have the most to offer, so ironic!

    1. Hi Mike,

      Yes, this is an important point. I suggest you contact the conference organisers to enquire about free places.

      All the best,


      1. Mike Bush says:

        Glad you agree Martin it should be blatantly obviuos that any conference about service users and carers should offer free places to the very people who have most to offer in terms of lived experience etc but who can least afford the costs of attending and the costs of travelling there. Sadly this ridiculous situation has been going on for years service users and carers should not have to beg for free places they should be automatically be made available to them.

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