The Lived Experience Reference Group (LERG) is an initiative of the Dr Edward Koch Foundation’s FNQ Suicide Prevention Taskforce. The Lived Experience Reference Group was officially launched on 27 July 2022 by the Assistant Commissioner of the Qld Police Service, Brett Schafferius.
The LERG is developing an action plan which includes a community consultation suicide prevention forum which will be used to inform government and other agencies and several smaller projects. Raising awareness, reducing stigma and sustainability for the Group will be included in the plan.
The Taskforce recognises the value of Lived Experience Consumer and Carers being part of shared decision-making of its activities and has enabled them to work actively in shaping the direction and outcomes of service delivery for Consumers and Carers. Consumers are defined as people living with mental illness while carers include family and friends supporting someone living with mental illness. The Taskforce wishes to ensure that the Consumer and Carer perspective is always heard and received in a respectful manner. LERG Members will be able to contribute valuable insight and information to help with the development of policies, procedures, consumer publications and potential opportunities for overall service improvement.
It has been established by the Taskforce that there is a great need for this group, and that many people with lived experience in the region have much to offer, but currently they lack a voice because of the closure of some mental health related services.
Suicide Prevention Forum
A one-day Suicide Prevention Forum is being planned for the near future to garner whole-of-community needs to enable change. Watch this space for more details to come.
Bumper Sticker Project
Vehicle bumper stickers with the message “suicide prevention is everyone’s business” and including two alphanumeric help contact numbers have been printed. These are currently being distributed throughout the community, and are about to be.
Marquee at the All of Us Festival celebrating Qld Mental Health Week
LERG was involved in the All Of Us Festival – celebrating Qld Mental Health Week by having a marquee at the event. Information was given on access to local mental health agencies, and a mental health first-aider was in attendance. Festival goers were encouraged to write a message of hope on a whiteboard stationed in the marquee – which overall garnered great interest in the community on the day.