We aim to embed the voices of people with lived experience of suicide and self-harm in all our work.
We define Lived Experience as:
A person who has/does experience suicidal feelings, suicide attempts, self-harm, or bereavement by suicide
We view lived experience involvement as an essential part of delivering effective work. It makes our services and work more effective, accessible, and relevant. We have a strong history of lived experience engagement through our Research and Influencing teams and in our 2022-27 strategy development process.
We launched our strategy Tackling suicide together in 2022 and we committed to:
‘…ensuring the voice of people with experience of suicidal feelings, suicide attempts, self-harm, or bereavement by suicide is central to and shapes all our services, products, campaigns and activities.’
We have always made sure people who use our services are at the heart of what we do. This includes:
- Ensuring listening volunteers provide compassionate and person-centered emotional support
- Campaigning on what matters most in suicide prevention
- Planning services for an increasingly technological age
We are now taking the next step to embed lived experience within Samaritans, starting with creating our first strategic plan for lived experience. We are using a co-design approach which brings people with lived experience, staff and volunteers together to share ideas and make decisions.
Three lived-experience consultants are working with our Head of Lived Experience to understand and ensure everyone’s wants and needs are included in the strategy.
If you have lived experience, you can get involved too - we are hosting workshops and surveys so you can share your thoughts and help us throughout the project.
Once agreed by our Board of Trustees, the strategic plan will launch in Autumn 2024. We will have a set of goals to work towards and will keep you updated on our progress.