why is lived experience engagement so important?

People with a lived experience of suicide bring insight, wisdom and perspective that is critical to informing the best approaches to suicide prevention.  People who have been through suicidal crisis, are best placed to inform how we can best support others in crisis.  People bereaved through suicide, know what is useful and what isn’t when it comes to supporting them to understand and adapt to their ‘new normal’.  People who have cared for a loved one through suicidal crisis are acutely aware of fear, helplessness and conflicting emotions feels like – and what helped them help their loved one.  This is lived experience.

It is time to acknowledge that the health system often fails to meet the needs of thousands of individuals in suicidal crisis and that health systems reform, whilst underway, will take significant time. We cannot continue telling people to seek help while knowing much of the support available through the health system is under stress, difficult to access, of highly variable quality, and frequently inappropriate for recovery from suicide crisis.

Furthermore, we hear a consistent message from people who have lived through suicidal crisis that non-clinical environments and services staffed with a combination of peers and community support workers, where they feel safe, supported and genuinely understood, would best promote recovery.

• People with a lived experience of suicide are critical to inform the widespread changes required to save lives, reduce emotional pain and empower people to live.

• Lived experience is a powerful enabler driving positive change in stigmatising attitudes and culture.

• People with lived experience of suicide have the potential, once provided with training and support, to facilitate impactful local suicide prevention solutions that contribute to healthy and sustainable communities.

Why Roses in the Ocean?

• Roses in the Ocean is Australia’s leading organisation for lived experience of suicide prevention in delivering best practice.

• We are driving the evolution and utilisation of lived experience nationally.

• Government, sector organisations, health and community service providers and business, increasingly seek our advice and expertise to guide effective engagement and integration of lived experience.

• Government and leading sector organisations are seeking our advice for investment priorities, key advocacy points and strategic implementation.

• Our continually expanding workforce of trained, supported and effective lived experience representatives are contributing and adding value to suicide prevention throughout Australia.

• Our expertise is informing policy, service provision, communications and other beneficial activities, through collaborating with government, key sector organisations, and priority population groups.

• We can demonstrate the positive impact of Roses in the Ocean programs through independent evaluations undertaken by the Australian Institute Suicide Research and Prevention (AISRAP) and Black Dog Institute. In addition, we are working collaboratively with a number of Australian and International researchers to assess the impact of lived experience participation in suicide prevention more broadly.

• We attract substantial interest internationally due to our unique and innovative approach, our industry and government collaborations, and our rapidly growing profile and impact.