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According to the National Mental Health Commission, lived experience is a broad term that refers to the personal perspectives on, and experiences of, being a consumer or carer, and how this becomes awareness and knowledge that can be communicated to others. The term covers people’s core experiences around mental health challenges and service use that may have occurred in the past or maybe ongoing (sometimes called living experience).

The Office of the Chief Psychiatrist (OCP) acknowledges the expertise of both consumers and carers. This ensures that mental health services and policies are informed, shaped by and responsive to the rights and needs of people in South Australia who require mental health care and those who support them.

The engagement of people with lived experience is essential in implementing a human rights-based approach into the design, implementation and evaluation of mental health services and policies. To achieve this, the OCP has a team comprised of three lived experience designated roles to facilitate the inclusion of carer and consumer perspectives in the strategic and operative work of the OCP.

The OCP Lived Experience Team:

  • Facilitate and administer the Statewide Lived Experience Register
  • Coordinate and provide executive support to the OCP Lived Experience Advisory Group
  • Design and implement safety and quality projects related to consumers and carers participation.
  • Support the development of the lived experience workforce across the state
  • Develops strategic partnerships with a broad range of stakeholders
  • Provides consultation and liaison around the engagement of people with a live experience across the mental health sector
  • Reports to and received direction from the Chief Psychiatrist and the Director Policy, Planning & Safety
  • Facilitate the participation of people with lived experience in the OCP Inspections Program and other strategic processes related to the statutory role of the Chief Psychiatrist
  • Provide strategic advice to include lived experience in planning, policy, service development and service delivery.
  • Writes ministerial, briefings and communications from the Office as required
  • Support the inclusion of lived experience content across all mental health policy and planning that comes from the OCP
  • Partners with health services, universities, Non-Government Organisations, people with lived experience to development strategic projects.

The following page provides further information: Lived Experience Links

If you would like to contact the Lived Experience Team, please email