What does positive change look like?

Positive change occurs when service providers listen to the people who use those services and actively engage with people with lived experience to co-produce services tailored to their needs. This is opposed to designing and delivering services they think people need.

How has the collective knowledge of lived experience impacted service design?

Lived and living experience knowledge has helped to design a more focussed service that meets the needs of the participants as they move towards recovery. Only by listening and encouraging people to share their knowledge and personal experience will service design become more flexible  and welcomed by mental health consumers.

What does the future look like if people with a lived experience are engaged more?

Government and nongovernment services need to expand their inclusion and acceptance of the lived and living experience voice and peers workers to provide a whole of life service. The future will see persons with a lived and living experience included on Boards of Managements, decision making groups and part of the co-design and co-produced services at all levels of  an organisation.

What have you gained from being part of this positive change?

My experiences over, many years has been a gradual acceptance of the value of my knowledge and a willingness to listen respectfully to my ideas during discussions and have them included in the final decision. As well as working with community and government services I have been able to work along side other lived and living experience people, gain from their knowledge and support their growth within the sector. It has been a privilege working with my fellow mental health consumers.