What is Lived Experience?
Lived experience is a term used to refer to the experience that people have throughout their life, relating in this case specifically to poor mental health. These people are often referred to as Experts by Experience (EbEs), or sometimes as Lived Experience Influencers. Some people prefer the term ‘living experience’ which acknowledges that people’s experiences are often still ongoing, or may return in the future. Recovery is an ongoing journey, and for many there is no end destination where they are no longer impacted.
An person with lived experience in this context, has a mental health condition, like depression, or addiction, or is a carer for someone who has a mental health condition, and can bring the carer’s perspective to discussions.
A carer is an person providing physical and / or practical and / or emotional support to a relative, or a friend, or someone else – like an elderly neighbour. They are not paid wages for providing this support, though they might receive carer benefits.