Mid and North East Essex Mind has set up its first Lived Experience Panel. The aim is to hear and understand the needs of people and then plan and deliver accordingly. To meet people’s needs we must work with people to make sure their opinions and ideas are valued. It is important that we do not make assumptions or take choices and control away from people.
We held an Information Event in August where we shared more details about the Lived Experience Panel with people who were interested in joining it. We have also had one to one conversations with people who could not attend the event.
We are thrilled to announce that we have recruited 11 members with different lived experiences of mental health that would work together to shape our services, to inform us on key areas. But mostly, the willingness to share their experiences will go beyond this, their insights will reach out to all those people that will receive support from our members of staff.
What is Lived Experience?
Lived experience is the knowledge and understanding you get when you have personally lived through something.
For Mid and North East Essex Mind, a person with lived experience is someone with personal experience of mental health problems. Or, people that have experienced marginalisation which may affect their mental health.
This may include lived experience of poverty, racial trauma, or other forms of prejudice or discrimination.
Mid and North East Essex Mind wants to work with a diverse range of people with lived experience to fight for better mental health for all.
Why is Lived Experience important in shaping our services?
To meet people’s needs, we must work with them to make sure their opinions and ideas are valued. It is essential not to make assumptions or take choices and control away from people.
It is crucial to engage with a truly diverse range of people within organisations and services whose work affects people with lived experiences of mental health problems. Work will only be practical if we truly hear and understand the needs of people and then plan and deliver accordingly.
Influence and participation bring enormous benefits to organisations and provide considerable benefits to those who work alongside us. We must remember that this is a two-way process, and everyone involved will benefit.