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Building a lived experience workforce

2 Jun 2017

Our feature article this month is about creating a safe, supported and trained "Lived Experience Workforce"

Building a Lived Experience Workforce

People with a lived experience of suicide are equipped with the expertise and skills needed to bring the lived experience as a voice of change in all aspects of suicide prevention.  Our insights, perspectives and direct experience with our health care system and community support networks are integral to informing and guiding the changes and advances in suicide prevention needed.

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, are trained in appropriate messaging and language, and possess current and accurate suicide and suicide prevention knowledge. 
Roses in the Ocean is creating an extensive lived experience workforce - a resource of trained, safe and knowledgeable people, who are motivated to contribute in their local communities to prevent suicide, utilising their specific skills and expertise.

Trained lived experience volunteers are able to choose different levels of engagement all of which will provide an invaluable resource across all aspects of suicide prevention ranging from local community awareness events, policy and program development, advocacy and peer-to-peer support initiatives.
Suicide touches people from all walks of life with all skills sets and expertise which, when combined with their personal lived experience of suicide, offer an invaluable resource to tackle suicide.

Furthermore, we are experiencing the benefits of involvement for those with a lived experience who have chosen to lend their expertise to the cause.  The strong connections made during training programs and workshops, due to a shared experience and passion for action, and through the activities within our Lived Experience Collective and ongoing Mentoring Program, our "workforce" are expressing greater acceptance and understanding of their experience, and a deep appreciation for the experiences of others.

If you are interested in being part of our Lived Experience workforce and receiving training to play an active role in suicide prevention, be sure to visit our website at

Here's a very quick update of what we have been busy doing...

  • collaborating with Lifeline to develop suicide awareness & crisis telephone intervention program, "Living Perspectives" , and delivering it to Policelink call centre staff
  • working with SuperFriend to film people speaking of their lived experience of dealing with Life Insurers and Super Funds in relation to suicide.  The videos will be used to enhance the excellent workplace training programs that SuperFriend offer this industry group.
  • working with Primary Health Networks, training people with lived experience to form Reference Groups to assist in the design and development of their Community Suicide Prevention Action Plans in Townsville & Sunshine Coast
  • delivering speakers training, "Voices of In-Sight" , to groups in Brisbane, Sydney, and Townsville with a bespoke program also delivered to Mates in Construction in Sydney in March
  • presenting at Community Suicide Prevention Forums in Qld and to the Qld Police Mental Health Co-ordinators regarding the importance of lived experience informed training and involvement 
  • participating in the Qld Suicide Prevention Health TaskForce Roundtable in March
  • expanding our Mentoring Program
  • Organising World Suicide Prevention workshops and Corporate Breakfasts
  • Getting ready for our Annual Black Tie Gala on June 10th
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