What is Lived or Living Experience (LE)? 

Lived Experience (LE) is the things that someone has experienced themselves, especially when these give the person a knowledge or understanding that people who have only heard about such experiences do not have. At the NSRF we are trying to ensure that our research is informed by Lived Experience (LE). This means that we want to carry out our research ‘with’ or ‘by’ members of the public with lived or living experience rather than ‘to’, ‘about’ or ‘for’ them. For us in the NSRF, LE involves people with lived experience contributing to all aspects of our research and practice. We are seeking to create a panel of people with lived experience who will be described as ‘LE Representatives’.

What does a LE representative do? 

As a LE Representative, we at the NSRF will ask for your thoughts, and to help us to design the work we do. As a LE Representative you will have 100% choice over what pieces of research that you would like to contribute to. 

Examples of tasks may include: 

  • Reviewing documentation and/or contributing to research proposals across a variety of topics relating to mental health and suicide.  
  • The development of research ideas and how to put these into practice.  
  • Discussions of relevant mental health and suicide related updates and developments relevant at national and local level (example: local and national policies, best-practice guidelines, education standards etc.) 

At the NSRF, we work on many projects. Throughout the year we will reach out to you and other members of the LE panel asking you to take part in work.  There are multiple stages of the research cycle, from the initial identification of a problem or gap in research, through to evaluating how well a treatment or measure works. Overall, we hope that the LE panel will have the opportunity to contribute to each stage of the research cycle. 

Who can become a LE Representative? 

We welcome LE Representatives from all backgrounds, with varying levels of lived experience of suicide, self-harm, and mental illnesses; e.g. those bereaved by suicide, those who have experienced suicidal behaviour in the present/past, those who have experienced mental illness in the present/past.  We actively engage in supporting all members of the public, carers, and communities to be involved in our research.

Remuneration and expenses 

All LE Representatives will be compensated for their time spent attending meetings and taking part in co-design work, at a rate of €25 per hour. This will be paid in One4All vouchers, which can be agreed with Representatives in advance. For in person meetings LE Representatives will also have their travel and expenses covered at a maximum rate of €120 euro per day, depending on where you are coming from.  

Aileen Callanan LE co-ordinator for NSRF
ppie@ucc.ie or aileen.callanan@ucc.ie

LE Panel Representative – Application form  

This form is for anyone who is interested in becoming a LE panel member for the National Suicide Research Foundation (NSRF). For further details on what this role involves, please see the LE section on the NSRF website at: https://www.nsrf.ie/about-us/patient-and-public-involvement-and-engagement-ppie/ or call 087 3481760.  You can complete this form online by following the link below or fill out a printed version and send by post. You can download and print a copy yourself below or request a copy to be posted to your home address.  Completed copies or questions can be emailed to: PPIE@ucc.ie, or printed versions can be posted to: Aileen Callanan, LE Panel co-ordinator, NSRF, 4.28, Western Gateway Building, Western Rd, Mardyke, Cork. To request a printed version please email PPIE@ucc.ie

Who should apply?  Anyone with lived experience of suicide, self-harm or mental illness is invited to apply to this panel. If you are still unsure, please refer to the website or contact us.   You do not need to know anything about research to become a LE Representative. Anyone who feels uncomfortable discussing suicide or self-harm related topics or feels this may be a trigger for them should carefully consider this before applying. We also suggest that you discuss becoming a LE Representative with your current mental healthcare provider, if you have one.  

Who will see this form?  Once this form is sent to us it will be held in the strictest confidence. Only those involved in senior management of the NSRF and the LE advisory panel will see this information.  

Why am I completing this form?  This form will be used to gather some basic contact details for our records and some additional information on your experience and/or background. This will not be shared beyond the senior management of the NSRF and the LE advisory panel. We will ask some questions regarding your ethnicity and access needs to ensure we include a broad representation of contributors from varying backgrounds. 

What if I do not feel comfortable sharing this information?  This is completely voluntary. If you do not feel comfortable with some of the questions on this form, you are under no obligation to answer. Please only give details that you feel comfortable sharing.   If you are completing this form online, please feel free to adjust the text box sizes accordingly. This can be done by clicking on the text box and then clicking on the circle that appears in the bottom centre of the box. If you are completing by hand feel free to use additional sheets if necessary.