The importance of lived experience influencing is as integral to our work as complying with regulations, properly managing budgets and delivering high quality projects. If your organisation or service conducts work that affects people with mental health problems, to do it effectively you must engage with as diverse a range of people with mental health problems as possible. You will only be effective if you truly hear and understand the needs of people and then plan and delivery accordingly. We must work with people to ensure their needs are met and opinions and ideas valued, we must not make assumptions or take choice and control away from people.
Influence and participation not only brings enormous benefits to organisations, it also provides huge benefits to those who work alongside us. We must remember this is a two way process and everyone involved will benefit.