The Lived-Experience Research Collective – Our Approach to Lived-Experience in Research
The Lived-Experience Research Collective is a research capacity building initiative of the ALIVE National Centre for Mental Health Research Translation. The collective’s purpose is to provide tailored training, mentoring for mental health researchers with lived-experience (both individuals who identify as experiencing mental-ill health and carer/family, kinship group researchers), and lived-experience and carer/family kinship researchers located in community, government or non-government organisations. This includes a place to grow expertise and develop important career pathways in research settings. We do not ascribe to one definition of lived-experience and are inclusive for people who self-identify as having lived-experience.
We acknowledge that for some, this inclusive approach creates discomfort, and concern that some lived-experience voices may be overshadowed or opportunities for lived-experience voices co-opted. However, as our primary aim is to explore the diversity of lived-experience research across a very broad range of topics, we have chosen not to impose boundaries that would exclude some experiences. We invite Collective members to explore different framings of mental ill-health and lived-experience, sit with discomfort and share in our inclusive discussions to progress lived-experience research.
Our approach is community-led and purposively inclusive, people can self-identify as someone with lived-experience if they would to be a part of the lived-experience research collective. Community-led lived-experience means that people bring direct expertise to research such as living with mental ill-health, or supporting someone who lives with mental ill-health or being a family member, close friend or care giver. People may also be affected by suicide, trauma, violence and abuse as part of their lived-experience which shapes identity in particular ways. Given that some of the nuances of lived-experience are shaped by community understandings, norms and values, it is our goal to work collectively with communities to understand how they describe and define lived-experience and ensure these community-led perspectives are interwoven with the shared understanding of lived-experience research.
— WHAT IS THE ALIVE LIVED-EXPERIENCE RESEARCH COLLECTIVE
Who is the lived-experience research collective for?
The Lived-Experience research collective is for people with Lived-Experience or carer/family focused researchers enrolled in university higher degree programs, and all researchers at all stages of their career with Lived-Experience as either individuals experiencing mental ill-health or carer/family members. It includes membership of people with Lived-Expertise based in community or government organisations engaged in research, and people who partner for co-design and co-production in mental health research who identify as having lived-expertise.
What are the benefits of joining?
Australia’s first dedicated nation-wide research collective by and for Lived-Experience mental health researchers and carer/family researchers. The network offers training, events, mentorship, peer exchanges, and access to resource opportunities to grow collaboration with lived-experience researchers and to support goals for implementation of new models of mental health care and innovations to improve experiences and outlooks in Australia.
What can I expect?
Programs for researchers across settings with Lived-Experience and carer/family researchers with tailored mentoring, training, events, and peer exchange programs facilitated between people with Lived-Experience and university-based researchers to foster understanding and grow expertise.
— ALIVE Forum
The forum offers a place for dialogue and exchange for lived-experience researchers engaged in mental health research.
Membership includes lived-experience researchers in community organisations or governments working on mental health research projects and people with lived-experience who may partner with researchers for co-design or co-production research so that they connect with others.
It’s a supportive forum to share experiences, grow networks, and to talk about skills and training needs that people might benefit from, including building lived-expertise as an evidence base.Apply Now
The ALIVE Lived-Experience Research Collective Forum is a supportive, safe and anonymous space.
We ask you to read the following before posting to the forum:
Share ideas, talk about skills that work for lived-experience researchers and participate in research focused conversations within posts and threads.
Our principles for participation
Here are our principles for participation for the ALIVE Lived-Experience Research Collective Forum. This space is created for everyone to feel welcome and safe in their interactions. If you notice that the principles of participation are not being put into practice, please get in touch with us.
Here are the principles of participation for the ALIVE Lived-Experience Research Collective – these have been co-created by and for mental health researchers with lived-experience to support safety in online dialogue, cooperative practices and shared agreements. Please get in touch with us at [email protected] for more information or if see any concerning language or practices you need to discuss.