Lived Experience Led
Lived experience is the term used to specify knowledge that is gained by personal experience, as opposed to learned via study or employment. In mental health, lived experience relates to a personal experience of mental ill health and recovery. This may include diagnosis, service use (private or public, community or clinical, traditional, or alternative) and the impact of these experiences on their lives.
Personal lived experience includes the wide spectrum of mental health from chronic and clinically diagnosed illnesses, to traumatic and/or unexpected life events that affect well-being. It may also include human rights violations, discrimination as well as the strengths to survive these experiences.
We recognise and value other forms of lived experience including those related to sex, sexuality and gender identity, culture, ability, homelessness and alcohol and other drug use. Within our approach to peer work and definition of lived experience, we see these as intersecting and often additional to lived experiences of mental ill health and recovery, but not in place of.