NSPLG Lived Experience Panel
The NSPLG Lived Experience Panel was set up in September 2019 to inform our work and support delivery of the actions in Every Life Matters together with any subsequent recommendations. The panel is made up of people who responded to a national advertisement and who give their time as passionate volunteers. Panel members have been immensely generous in sharing their personal experiences of the impacts of suicide, and hugely influential in the work of the NSPLG.
The panel is made up of 14 people each with different connections to suicide. Some are survivors of bereavement from suicide, others have been suicidal in the past or have been carers for family members or friends living with suicidal thoughts and behaviours. Members come from a diverse range of professional and social backgrounds, and inform our work from Orkney to Glasgow. They are supported with respect and sensitivity by our Lived Experience Panel Co-ordinator. A wider network of over a hundred people across the country with lived experience of the impacts of suicide is also involved in supporting the work of the NSPLG through a range of activities.
The panel was being established in the months leading up to the pandemic, having had two successful induction events. Members came together for two face to face engagements in February, during which they met with the chair and members of the NSPLG. Following the introduction of lockdown measures panel members very quickly committed to meeting virtually and their influence on the work of the NSPLG is undiminished.
Most notably, the views and lived experience of panel members were at the heart of developing Scotland’s new suicide prevention identity and campaign under Action 3 of Every Life Matters, and the launch on 10 September 2020 of the new social movement (an organised campaign to encourage social change), United to Prevent Suicide.
Some of our Lived Experience Panel members have shared their impressions of working together and with the NSPLG
“How could just over a dozen “normal” people from different geographical areas and of different ages, who have been touched by suicide, come together during a national pandemic to deliver and agree such an important message? Because of their respect for each other, being sensitive to each other's views, being open and brutally honest, that’s why”
“Sensing from the group we are all passionate about this work and will try our best to make any situation work as long as it helps even one person seek help and prevent the devastation of suicide.”
“The people on the panel are the most understanding group of people I've ever been able to open up to. They relate to everything I say in their own individual ways and their input allows me to explore my lived experiences in ways that I haven't done before. I believe it's this level of understanding that has allowed the panel to overcome the challenges during the COVID-19 pandemic. The pandemic is far from over and I'm proud to be part of a panel that is needed now more than ever.”
“I have found being a member of the Lived Experience Panel as one of the most important and rewarding activities of my life. I congratulate the NSPLG for taking the initiative to set the panel up and more importantly for seriously taking the views of the panel into consideration during the development of their strategy and work products. This proven ability to influence the outcomes has greatly emphasised the importance of the role we play.”