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Lived Experience Groups

Our aim is to ensure that our suicide prevention work is underpinned by authentic voices of those with lived experience.

In partnership with Possability People, we are developing two Lived Experience Groups to give those with lived experience of suicide the opportunity to contribute to our work through advice, discussion and feedback.

Woman Speaking At Support Group Meeting For Mental Health Or Dependency Issues In Community Space

About our Lived Experience Groups

Recruitment for our Lived Experience Advisory Group has now closed. If you are interested in joining at a later stage, please email us here.

 

What does the Lived Experience Advisory Group do?

During meetings, members will draw upon personal lived experience to provide constructive feedback and ideas, which will inform and influence the work of Grassroots Suicide Prevention. This group will inform policy and practice at local and national levels. We hope that this will help us to bring about positive change for others at risk.

We are looking for a small group of people to attend ad hoc online meetings, starting in February 2024. 

Who can apply?

This group is open to applications from anyone across the country with lived experience of suicide. You may have experienced suicidal ideation, made a suicide attempt, been bereaved by suicide, or you may be a professional working in the field of suicide prevention with personal experience.

What will this group be asked to do?

You may be asked to give feedback on campaigns, communications and projects, or fill in surveys, which will inform and influence the work of Grassroots Suicide Prevention. We hope that this will help us to bring about positive change for others at risk.

When does this group meet?

This group will meet on an ad hoc basis, which means meetings will be organised as and when we need your feedback. Sometimes you may be asked to complete a survey or carry out a short review in your own time. You can choose to participate if it suits you.

This is a lighter commitment for people with lived experience of suicide.

Your wellbeing

We hope that your involvement with this group will be highly rewarding, however, we ask that every applicant reviews whether they are ready to tackle emotionally challenging and potentially triggering topics on a regular basis. You can find more guidance on this in the Wellbeing Guide below.

Wellbeing Guide

We know talking about suicide and suicide prevention can bring up a lot of painful memories or feelings, especially if you have had a recent personal experience. Your safety is important to us. 

Before you make the decision to apply to our Lived Experience Groups, you may wish to consider the following questions, either through self-reflection or by talking with a trusted person: 

  • What motivates you to be a part of this group? Is this the right time for you to reflect on or share your experience? 
  • How has discussing suicide impacted you mentally and emotionally in recent weeks or months? 
  • How do you react when hearing about others' lived experiences of suicide, and how do you manage your feelings? 
  • Are there specific times when you feel more vulnerable? Are there any triggers, words or conversations that affect you? 
  • How do you look after yourself and manage your feelings? Are there any self care practices you need to keep up or put in place?
  • Are there any other concerns you have about this experience?

Here are some signs that demonstrate you are ready to join:

  • You've considered the emotional and mental impact of this work, and it feels appropriate for this stage of your life
  • You are at a point in your life where you've allowed sufficient time for personal healing, and your involvement in this project represents a positive and rewarding opportunity
  • Your motivation to draw on your lived experiences aligns with helping others and contributing to change, and it may also contribute to your own healing
  • You've discussed your decision with someone you trust who knows you well, and their reflections and support have reinforced your choice
  • You are aware of your triggers and have support systems in place for times of vulnerability, including knowing when to reach out for additional support and when to step back 
  • You've considered the level of involvement you want, and you have the time and capacity to dedicate to this endeavor without overwhelming yourself
  • You are prepared to listen to diverse perspectives and experiences of suicide, and you are open to being part of a group with various backgrounds and viewpoints
  • You've considered the implications of sharing your lived experiences related to suicide with yourself, your family, and your friends
  • You feel ready to influence change in the attitudes and opinions of others, understanding that it may also lead to changes in your own views and present challenges

If you don’t feel ready or you are unsure, we encourage you to take your time and think carefully about your decision, with the help of the Wellbeing Guide and your own personal resources and trusted people. 

Thank you for your careful consideration and your interest in our work. If you have any queries, please get in touch

If you are struggling yourself or worried about someone else then you can find crisis resources here.

Interested in applying?

Make sure you have read the Wellbeing Guide, then please fill in our brief application form

We will continue to accept and review applications for both groups until we have a selection of people with diverse backgrounds and experiences.

We will review your comments against the diverse group we need. 

If you would like to speak to someone, you can email us by clicking here

Frequently Asked Questions

A lived experience group is a gathering of individuals who have personally experienced specific challenges or situations. In this case, the experience will be around suicide. 

This is different to the expertise that comes from ‘learnt experience’, such as through professional training. 

We ask you to reflect carefully before making the decision to apply to one of these groups. We have a number of questions you can ask yourself or discuss with a trusted person in our Wellbeing Guide, as well as some inidcators that you might be ready to join. 

You may withdraw your application at any time.

We hope that you will gain a lot from being a member, including:

  • The opportunity to shape and influence local and national suicide prevention efforts
  • Updates on the impact your insights are having on the community
  • Opportunities to help advise and share insights on wider groups
  • A small remuneration for your time
  • Free places on Grassroots Suicide Prevention training courses
  • Work alongside peers with lived experience who share your passion to help make a difference

Once we receive your application, we will review it and see how you could help us create two diverse groups. We may suggest that you join a different group than the one you applied for, but you are under no obligation to join either one. 

For the Advisory Group, we will set up a brief chat with you. This will be an opportunity for you ask us any questions and decide whether it is a good fit for you.

We will keep you updated about the status of your application.

Both groups will start with a limited number of members due to practical considerations.

With the Advisory Group, we will be looking to try and find people who have a diverse range of experiences and want to focus on constructive discussions around suicide prevention work.

For the Advisory Group, we ask you to commit to one online meeting every month for 1.5 hours for a minimum of six months. In addition, there will be three preliminary sessions to attend. This group has a more formal schedule that we expect to be followed.

For the Feedback Group, we ask you to provide input on an ad hoc basis and you can choose whether you are able to participate given the project and deadlines. 

Yes. For safety reasons, we will only accept applications from people over eighteen. You are welcome to return and apply once you are of age. 

The Advisory Group is for members to draw upon their personal lived experience to provide constructive feedback and ideas, which will inform and influence the work of Grassroots Suicide Prevention. This group will inform policy and practice at local and national levels. We hope that this will help us to bring about positive change for others at risk.

The Feedback Group will be a wider range of people and experiences, providing feedback and input on the various campaigns, resources and projects that Grassroots Suicide Prevention are working on and developing. 

Application form

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