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New guides support people to safely share their experiences of suicide

A partnership project, with a focus on lived experience, has resulted in the launch of two new guides to support the sharing and gathering of experiences of mental health and suicide.

Scottish Recovery Network, United to Prevent Suicide and the Suicide Prevention Scotland Lived Experience Panel developed the guides. Central to this was collaboration with the United to Prevent Suicide social movement and members of the Suicide Prevention Scotland Lived Experience Panel.

Through a series of workshops, people discussed examples of times they had shared their experiences of suicide. They highlighted what worked well, and what could have made it better. Their invaluable knowledge and expertise guided the development of these two guides. One for individuals preparing to share their experiences. The other for organisations supporting people to share their experiences.

I am hoping that sharing my experiences will help me process what I went through. I also know, from running my own mental health group, that my honesty helps others. They see that I have “come out the other side” and can give others hope. And maybe I feel stronger for it.

Contributor to the guides

Preparing to share your experiences

This guide is for any individual who wants to share their lived experience of mental health and/or suicide (this includes people who have been bereaved by suicide). It contains information to support you to prepare to share your experiences and reflect on how you do this safely whilst maintaining your wellbeing. It also provides guidance on the different places and spaces you may wish to share your experiences.

  • This summary document outlines key information from the guide and may help prepare you for what to expect when you read the Preparing to share your experiences guide

Gathering lived experiences

This guide is for anyone who supports people to share their lived experiences of mental health and suicide. This can be to inform your organisation’s policies and the development/improvement of support services. It can also be because you are interested in developing peer support or wish to develop resources and campaigns. Organisations can range from the health and social care sector to the third sector and beyond.

Thank you

Thank you to everyone who gave up their time and shared their wisdom with us. To the many individuals and organisations across Scotland who spoke with us about how they thought others could best prepare to share their experiences of mental health and suicide to help others.