Experts by Experience are people who have personal lived experience, of using, or caring for someone who uses, health services that we commission.
Experts by Experience sit on various boards/project groups/work streams such as the Mental Health Systems Strategy Board and the Transforming Care for people with a learning disability and/or autism board. Experts by Experience come directly from the services that we commission or are part of Third Sector organisations that we work with.
One of our experts tells us why she got involved below:
My background is varied and includes science research, medical writing and in providing rape crisis services.
I have struggled with my mental health since being young and had become unable to work, most recently in January 2014. By 2015, I was starting to look for ways to engage with life again. I am currently using both NHS and voluntary sector services while I build up to entering the world of work again (hopefully). When I saw the opportunity to get involved with the mental health systems strategy board in Birmingham and Solihull, I was extremely keen to use my lived experience to help provide an independent service-user perspective on mental health strategy. My general perspective is that mental health services need to be relationship-focused, trauma-informed, flexible, compassionate and person-centred to deliver what we need from them. I am grateful to have this opportunity to help shape services and so far have also found it helpful in rebuilding my confidence and supporting my recovery.