Over the last several months, conversations about diversity and inclusion have become increasingly commonplace. No matter the issue at hand, people with lived experiences understand the challenges and barriers experienced by their communities, and can provide insight into the opportunities to bring about lasting and positive change. While many healthcare and social service professionals support the inclusion of people with lived experience, there are often uncertainties about how to build and maintain authentic, mutually beneficial partnerships. In this Office Hours session, we discussed opportunities for organizations to increase inclusion of people with lived experiences.
The speakers for this session are:
- Lee Harrison, Behavioral Health Specialist, and John Butler, program graduate, San Mateo County Health’s Lived Experience Academy (LEA);
- Danielle Hodges, Program Manager, Data and Quality Improvement at the Camden Coalition of Healthcare Providers; and
- Stephanie Burdick, National Consumer Scholar from the Camden Coalition’s National Center for Complex Health and Social Needs.
Lee and John spoke about LEA’s work to support participants to use their lived experience with mental health and/or substance use challenges to empower themselves, to educate others, and to advocate for systems level changes. Danielle and Stephanie discussed a research survey project co-lead by a team of Consumer Scholars designed to illuminate opportunities for strengthening partnerships between organizations and people they serve.
Our Office Hours sessions was a small-group conversations, and we encouraged participants to come ready to share their experiences, ideas, challenges, and achievements in their work. We especially welcomed those who identify as people with lived experience of complex health and social needs, as well as those who work alongside these individuals (or hope to) to join the conversation.