IASP and Lived Experience – A Special Interest Group Update

There is growing interest and acknowledgement of the importance of lived experience of suicide. Lived expereince being defined as; having experienced suicidal thoughts, survived a suicide attempt, cared for someone through suicidal crisis, or been bereaved by suicide.

The Special Interest Group on Lived Experience was launched in 2017 at the IASP World Congress in Kuching in Malaysia. Since its creation, this Special Interest Group has aimed to integrate lived experience throughout various IASP activities, and to share information and good practice relating to lived experience with national and international suicide prevention organisations. In addition, the Group aims to promote and support the establishment of lived experience networks and communities across the world. Our initial projects include a review of the literature on lived experience and an international audit of lived experience grassroots efforts. In this short report we would like to share two recent initiatives related to our Special Interest Group. 

As mentioned above, one of our aims is to encourage and facilitate inclusion of the lived experience in IASP activities and initiatives. As such, earlier this year, we welcomed an invitation of Co-Chairs of the Special Interest Group on development of effective national suicide prevention strategy and practice, Steve Platt and Mohsen Rezaeian, to contribute to the work of the National Strategies Regional Suicide Prevention Networks Programme. As a part of this collaboration, we are developing questions related to the lived experience initiatives, which will be included in the forthcoming IASP global survey of suicide prevention strategy and action. Concurrently, Steve and Mohsen will seek information from national contacts about champions of lived experience in their country.

In September 2021, Roses in the Ocean, a national lived experience organisation in Australia, organised the Lived Experience of Suicide Summit 2021. The Summit was a lead-in event to the IASP 31st World Congress which took place at the Gold Coast in Queensland, Australia. This workshop-based event was focused on collaborative projects, exploration and discussion of new concepts on the role of lived experience in suicide prevention policy, research, services and initiatives. Following the success of the Summit, Roses in the Ocean organises three workshops at the 10th IASP Asia Pacific Conference in May 2022: “Collaborating to create systems change”, “Lived Experience in Research”, and “Compassion First – translating lived experience into action to drive real change”.

Our Special Interest Group is very keen to collaborate with any and all of the other Special Interest Groups. We extend an open invitation for the Chairs to reach out to make a time for us to meet and discuss how we may be able to support the work you are doing.

If you would like to join the IASP Special Interest Group on Lived Experience or have any questions regarding the topic of lived experience of suicide in suicide prevention, please contact Co-Chairs: Bronwen Edwards (bronwen@rosesintheocean.com.au) and Karolina Krysinska (karolina.krysinska@unimelb.edu.au). 

Visit us at https://www.iasp.info/lived-experience/

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