our lived experience collective

trained, supported and ready to contribute

Our Lived Experience Collective is comprised of lived experience champions across Australia who are equipped with the expertise and skills needed to bring their lived experience as a voice of change in all aspects of suicide prevention.

They have undertaken training to harness and build their capacity to participate in suicide prevention activities.

Suicide touches people from all walks of life. Our lived experience of suicide is just one part of who we are. Roses in the Ocean engages the whole person and facilitates opportunities to harness individuals’ diverse skill sets and expertise. In doing so, we have created a passionate, skilled Collective which, when combined with the insights drawn from personal lived experience of suicide, offers an invaluable resource to stem the suicide tide.

In order to leverage the skills, capabilities and expertise of people with a lived experience of suicide, we first must ensure that these people are ready to be involved, are safe and supported, trained in appropriate messaging and language, and possess current and accurate knowledge of suicide and suicide prevention.

At Roses in the Ocean we recognise that individuals have unique capabilities and different abilities to get involved in volunteer work. Our volunteers are offered the opportunity to engage at different levels in the Collective from ‘dip your toe in’ opportunities like helping out at a local community awareness event or completing a survey through to in-depth, skilled and representative involvement in policy and program development, advocacy and peer-to-peer support initiatives.

Contact us for information about being part of our Lived Experience Collective.

Name: Vivienne Blennerhassett
Nature of lived experience:
I lost my only child to suicide in 2015,  He had suffered with a mental illness since late 2011.  My passion is to improve awareness and education about the linkage between mental illness and potential suicide.
Name: Kate McLoughlin
Nature of lived experience:
I lost my 19 yo son unexpectedly to suicide in March 2016,  After an address at Zach’s funeral was posted on social media gaining an international response, I have been interviewed about my lived experience by Paul Kennedy of ABC News and Wayne Schwass of Puka Up.  I have spoken to many sporting clubs and am a member of Chasing Change – Mornington Peninsula Suicide Prevention.
Name: Riki Benton
Nature of lived experience:
I am a suicide attempt survivor who lives with an Acquired Brain Injury.  In 2017 I appeared on  ABC’s “You Can’t Ask That” Series.  I have experience public speaking and am undertaking peer support roles in youth mental health.