Lived experience

Lived experience is a term which is increasingly used in the mental health and other social contexts. Lived experience means personal knowledge about the world gained through direct, first-hand involvement in everyday events. A person with lived experience in the mental health context is someone with past or present experience of a mental health condition, who has made use of some form of mental health service. People with lived experience are considered experts by experience within their diagnosis or health condition. They are well placed to contribute to policy and to become involved in advocacy initiatives.

FSS talk on lived experience and advocacy

Living successfully with schizophrenia: How I became a global mental health advocate

Summary of a talk given by Charlene Sunkel, Global Mental Health Peer Network Founder and CEO, at the April 2022 online meeting of Family Support for Schizophrenia. Extracted from FSS newsletters.

Lived experience and advocacy organisations

Global Mental Health Peer Network – GMHPN

GMHPN is an international organisation that builds capacity among people with lived experience of a mental health condition through empowerment, mentorship and support. Founded in South Africa by Charlene Sunkel, it is managed and run by persons with experience of psychosocial disabilities. Contributes widely to policy and discourse from the lived experience perspective. Inspirational stories. Interesting resources section.