Lived Experience Collaboration

Those of us who identify has having or had a diagnosis of mental ill-health or emotional distress have a unique perspective to offer.
Lived experiences are diverse and rich and we all see these experiences in different ways.

There are lots of ways for people with lived experience to become involved with WAAMH and contribute to mental health awareness, advocacy and promotion in WA. 

In recognition of this, WAAMH has identified other representative roles. These are:

  • Governance Board
  • Steering Committees, Advisory and Reference Groups
  • Participate in survey's and consultations 

Working with people with lived experience

Our friends at Mental Health Matters 2 have written a report on the practice of engaging people with lived experience, titled Foundational Engagement Report 2018.

 Recommendations include:

  • Build on existing foundational engagement resources such as those outlined in this report, rather
    than wasting resources in duplicating work already done.
  • Evaluate existing engagement resources to establish which are the most effective and provide the
    best value for different population groups.
  • Encourage and support services to produce or adopt a contemporary Paid Participation policy.
  • Pay particular attention in evaluation of agencies to the existence and/or development of
    nuanced policies and practices which support foundational engagement.
  • Ensure that foundational engagement policies and practices are part of contractual requirements.
  • Co-produce and resource training and development opportunities for individuals, families and
    supporters from under-represented groups.
  • Provide leadership opportunities to people with lived/living experience to lead engagement
    initiatives and to share their expertise in the sectors generally.
  • Create spaces and free events within the sectors where engagement can take place in informal
    ways in community venues.
  • Highlight and promote initiatives and agencies who implement effective foundational engagement.
  • Support frontline workers, including peer workers, to proactively share information with their
    clients about upcoming foundational engagement opportunities.
  • Encourage partnerships with training institutions and universities to facilitate the involvement of
    and future leadership by people with lived experience in course design and research opportunities.

Governance Board

WAAMH's board includes a consumer and carer representative to guide our organisation and provide strategic direction. Our board also have a Lived Experience Participation Committee which works to improve lived experience and coproduction practice of the board. 

You have to be a full member of WAAMH and any member can nominate to join the board, when vacancies become available. 

Steering Committees, Advisory and Reference Groups

Committee, reference and advisory groups advise on a specific focus for certain purposes. Individuals who identify as having or had a lived experience of mental ill- health and wellbeing are selected due to their specific knowledge, and personal interests that were suited to the focus of a particular group. The role is to work alongside others in mutual partnership to achieve an outcome. Contributing expertise, perspectives and ideas as a member of the group.

Participate in surveys and consultations

People with a lived experience as a mental health consumer, care or family member are eligible to become individual members of WAAMH. Individual and organisational members   are able to help shape the views of WAAMH’s policy and advocacy work. For example, members are offered the chance to contribute to submissions and other policy activities, and the collective views of members are represented by WAAMH in our meetings and engagement with politicians and other stakeholders. WAAMH also consults more broadly on specific issues through surveys and other consultation opportunities.

Attend conference and events

Every year, WAAMH organises a range of conferences, symposiums and special events. Some events are free, but where there is a significant ticket price, we offer scholarships for people with a lived experience. 

To find out about what's coming up, see our calendar here.

Attend training and education events

WA Association for Mental Health is WA’s leading provider of customised mental health education and training for professional development. We offer an extensive range of training courses, with over 50 different topics available. Our public calendar of scheduled courses is available here.

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