Representative Opportunities: Lived Experience Advisory Group – Mental Health Services in SA

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Office of the Chief Psychiatrist (SA), September 2022

The Office of the Chief Psychiatrist (OCP) is the team assisting the current Chief Psychiatrist of South Australia, Dr John Brayley, in meeting his statutory responsibilities and upholding the rights of people who require mental health care. The OCP are currently recruiting new members to join the Lived Experience Advisory Group (LEAG).

The LEAG is a statewide committee providing advice and recommendations on the key statutory and departmental functions of the OCP. The LEAG members bring an embodied demonstration of lived experience perspective or expertise and work collaboratively with the OCP to provide advice on monitoring and improving the safety and quality of the mental health services in SA. The LEAG ensures personal lived experience and family/carer lived experience perspectives are embedded in the design, implementation and evaluation of mental health policies, programs and services.

The concept of lived experience in the mental health sector refers to the knowledge, skills, and wisdom a person can gain when recovering from life-altering mental health distress personally (sometimes referred to as consumers), or when providing unpaid care and support to someone (as families/carers). People with lived experience can use their unique knowledge and skills to contribute significantly to enhancing mental health services and policy development that responds to the population’s needs. The OCP acknowledges the expertise of people with lived experience and promotes their inclusion as fundamental to underpinning improvements in mental health systems, services and delivery.

LEAG Meetings are held monthly and as necessary. Subcommittees or working groups may be established to undertake activities as required. The meeting time is 2.5 hours. It is expected that all attending members have undertaken meeting preparation, including reading documents and meeting papers. It is also expected the LEAG members follow the guidelines included in the Terms of Reference and the Charter of the LEAG which can be accessed here.

The OCP are attempting to keep a broad diversity in the membership of the group, including (but not limited to) LGBTIQ+ people, Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people, people with disability, and people with culturally and linguistically diverse background.

Expressions of Interest will be open until 30 September 2022. 

By J Pope

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