At Samaritans, we know the importance of listening, so we’re creating more opportunities for people with personal experience of using our services, and of suicide and self-harm, including those bereaved, to share their views and experiences with us.
Lived experience must be at the heart of everything we do. We want to ensure our work is informed by the experience and insights of those who need us most, who can help us achieve our vision that fewer people die by suicide
Julie Bentley, CEO
People with lived experience have important insights that can help shape and inform our work. We’re committed to supporting people with lived experience to have their voices heard.
Join our online panel and complete surveys and polls on issues that interest you
Samaritans Lived Experience Panel Newsletter
Each quarter we produce a newsletter to showcase how Samaritans Lived Experience Panel has helped to shape and inform our work.
Find out more about the ‘You said, we listened’ newsletter
Lived Experience opportunities
We are also developing a range of opportunities for people with lived experience to be involved in the work that we do. This could involve working alongside us on specific projects, joining an advisory group, or becoming a Board Member.
Suicide Prevention Consortium: Pathways for Alcohol Issues and Suicidal Ideation
The Suicide Prevention Consortium is currently recruiting for their latest project “Pathways for Alcohol Issues and Suicidal Ideation”, which aims to improve support for people seeking support for alcohol use and suicidal thoughts/feelings/attempts.
The purpose of this project is to build on our work over the last two years, where we repeatedly found that there are still many barriers stopping people from accessing mental health and alcohol services. The consortium wants to listen to people with these experiences to improve our understanding and share our insights with people in a position to improve support in this area. We want to identify in more detail what these barriers are, how they appear to those experiencing them, when they are experienced, and how they can be overcome.
As part of this project, we will be conducting a questionnaire and one to one remote interviews with people who have lived experience of suicidal thoughts/feelings/attempts and alcohol issues, and of seeking support for one or both of these issues. Interviews will be conducted in October and November 2023.
Deadline: Friday 24th November 2023
If you would like to find out more, please click here.
All-Party Parliamentary Group (APPG) on Suicide and Self-harm Prevention - Inquiry into young people and suicide
The All-Party Parliamentary Group (APPG) on Suicide and Self-harm Prevention, which is made up of MPs and Members of the House of Lords, has launched a mini-inquiry focused on young people and suicide. This inquiry will focus on the experiences of young people from age 18 to 25 given the rising rates of suicide among this group and seek to understand what should be done to prevent young suicides.
The inquiry will explore risk factors and help-seeking experienced by young people with lived experience of suicidal thoughts, feelings and attempts. The APPG will gather evidence through an anonymous survey, as well as a short series of evidence sessions with people with lived experience, organisations, academics and practitioners.
The survey is aimed at:
- Young people ages 18-25 with lived experience of suicidal thoughts, feelings and/or attempt(s)
- People aged over 18 who have been impacted by the suicide of a young person.
For full terms of reference for the inquiry and link to the survey: https://www.samaritans.org/about-samaritans/research-policy/appg/
Deadline: Saturday 18th November 2023
If you have any questions or feedback about Lived Experience Involvement at Samaritans, please contact us at [email protected]
From ‘they’ to ‘we’ - Reflections on working as lived experience advisors
From “they” to “we” explores the reflections of lived experience advisors and researchers who worked together on a research project. The project explored the benefits and risks of peer support for people who self-harm.
Both the advisors and the researchers found there were a range of benefits to involving people with lived experience in the research, including helping the advisors overcome stigma.
The advisors also developed a set of principles for meaningful and appropriate lived experience engagement with people who self-harm. These principles are rooted in the successes, challenges, and learnings of this research project.