Lived Experience Advisory Group
Working with, being guided by, and learning from people with experience of mental health services in all our work.
The Living Experience Advisory Group (LEAG) is co-chaired by two experts of mental health services in their capacity as a “user of services” and a “carer”, bringing two different perspectives of access, delivery, and receipt of services.
Association of Mental Health Providers, as the only national representative organisation for VCSE providers of mental health and wellbeing services, aims to better understand people’s experiences of mental health services, whether delivered by its members, the wider VCSE and social care mental health sector, or the NHS. We hope the knowledge we gain from people who have lived experience will support the work of Government and inform national policy as well as drive change in practice and service delivery.
The LEAG brings together people from across the country, from different backgrounds, facing different challenges, as we aim to be inclusive of varying perspectives and experiences and ensure we can be as representative as possible. Its membership is representative of people who share protected characteristics and/or that experience health inequalities, whilst also considering the role of wider social and economic determinants on their differing experiences.
People who draw on services and their families and carers are central to everything we do and through the sharing of their experiences in this Group, The Association aims to embed the voice of living experience in all our programmes and projects, with members offering advice, guidance, and feedback on our work.
True and meaningful coproduction is crucial for The Association and the LEAG supports the direction in planning, guiding, and informing the organisation’s work.
The Group works in collaboration with The Association’s existing project-specific advisory groups and through other joint-working, as appropriate. The LEAG supports The Association's team, as well as challenges them, on living experience involvement, inclusion, representation, and coproduction.
The Group compromises of individuals with living experience of poor mental health and illness, including SMI, who are passionate about and have the capacity to effect change and have an impact on mental health policy and practice. The Group has a maximum of 10 people at any one time, plus two co-chairs who are willing to share their expertise and personal experiences, whilst being understanding and empathetic of others’ differing views and experiences. Individuals are open to other people’s ideas and new ways of thinking and are able to communicate effectively. Members are constructive and act as critical friends of The Association, whilst recognising they are representing the organisation and its values through their involvement in the LEAG.
The Association is committed to supporting the LEAG as a collective and its members individually where necessary and as appropriate.
The LEAG is closely connected, and work in collaboration, with coproduction and lived experience advisory groups operating within member organisations such as Turning Point, Rethink Mental Illness, Second Step, Making Space, Choice Support, and Together for Mental Wellbeing.
Group members are collaborative, positive, solution-oriented, cooperative, and flexible, and ensure the privacy, trust, and confidentiality of members and work is maintained.
The Association aims to be open, inclusive, and responsible with all members and ensures that the work of the LEAG informs the work of the organisation and experiences of members are included and represented effectively.
We are not currently recruiting for new members to join our Lived Experience Advisory Group. You can find further information on vacancies and the application process here in the future.