"Lived experience of mental health"

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ClaireEmma
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"Lived experience of mental health"

Post by ClaireEmma » Mon Mar 24, 2014 8:18 pm

I've seen a few person specifications recently for AP posts that have the desirable criteria "lived experience of mental health". I initially assumed that it referred to mental health difficulties, then realised that's not actually what it says. Has anyone else seen this and did you assume it was referring to experience of mental health difficulties? From the way it is phrased it seems that it could also mean lived experience of being well?

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eponymous85
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Re: "Lived experience of mental health"

Post by eponymous85 » Mon Mar 24, 2014 9:10 pm

I think it might just be poor wording, I've come across this mistake a few times
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Re: "Lived experience of mental health"

Post by Borrowed Cone » Mon Mar 24, 2014 10:18 pm

my assumption was that it meant having your own personal experience of mental health services, or supporting a family member etc.
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ClaireEmma
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Re: "Lived experience of mental health"

Post by ClaireEmma » Mon Mar 24, 2014 11:00 pm

Thanks guys, just wanted to check as the wording was a bit odd!

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BenJMan
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Re: "Lived experience of mental health"

Post by BenJMan » Tue Mar 25, 2014 12:43 am

That's a fascinating person spec point.. lived experience doesn't necessarily refer to personal experience but it does feel implied, given the context..

Can one legally make previous mental health difficulties a criteria for a job role? Any more than jobs cannot be legally biased against mental health? What an interesting point of discussion (perhaps not here..)

I'm all for utilising personal mental health experience for job roles in the field .. i'm unsure how comfortable I am with it being a point on a person specification.. that has really made me think :)
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ClaireEmma
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Re: "Lived experience of mental health"

Post by ClaireEmma » Tue Mar 25, 2014 12:54 am

Yeah I wondering about that too, actually. It was desirable though, not essential, so I wondered if this was to highlight that the Trust doesn't discriminate against people who have had mental health problems, that personal experience is viewed positively and they would welcome discussion of it as part of the supporting statement where applicable? I'm not sure about the legal side of it, but I always assumed it would be essential requirement of peer support roles?

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Re: "Lived experience of mental health"

Post by rabbit » Tue Mar 25, 2014 9:38 am

BenJMan wrote:Can one legally make previous mental health difficulties a criteria for a job role? Any more than jobs cannot be legally biased against mental health?
I think it possible could be? In inpatient units they can positively discriminate against males, and firefighters do the same for females. Perhaps it's possible for mental health to be seen in that way too?

I agree though ClaireEmma, I think it is just a HR exercise in some ways to make it very clear that they won't negatively discriminate.
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HedleyLamarr
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Re: "Lived experience of mental health"

Post by HedleyLamarr » Tue Mar 25, 2014 8:11 pm

rabbit wrote:
BenJMan wrote:Can one legally make previous mental health difficulties a criteria for a job role? Any more than jobs cannot be legally biased against mental health?
I think it possible could be? In inpatient units they can positively discriminate against males, and firefighters do the same for females. Perhaps it's possible for mental health to be seen in that way too?

I agree though ClaireEmma, I think it is just a HR exercise in some ways to make it very clear that they won't negatively discriminate.
Things such as gender and race can be considered a genuine occupational requirement - adverts for Women's Aid jobs will often have a bit that makes it clear that only women can apply and will mention the legislation that covers this. I think they would have to do the same in this case and make it clear if previous mental health difficulties was essential criteria for the role and mention the legislation. But you say its a desirable criteria and I think organisations can positively discriminate in cases of disability - mental health may be covered by this too?
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Re: "Lived experience of mental health"

Post by Pink » Tue Mar 25, 2014 8:19 pm

ClaireEmma89 wrote:I've seen a few person specifications recently for AP posts that have the desirable criteria "lived experience of mental health".
I've seen a few qualified (band 7) CP posts recently that have this in the 'desirable' column as well. So it may be representative of a number of things (as discussed by others in this thread), but it also seems to be happening at different levels within the profession. (or possibly we're looking at jobs in the same trust..)

I quite like the idea that some level of diversity is being explicitly invited, even if it is just an HR exercise.

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HedleyLamarr
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Re: "Lived experience of mental health"

Post by HedleyLamarr » Tue Mar 25, 2014 10:06 pm

Pink wrote:I quite like the idea that some level of diversity is being explicitly invited, even if it is just an HR exercise.
Something that often seems to come are people's concerns that past mental health problems are going to be a significant barrier to them getting a job (e.g. viewtopic.php?f=10&t=16779). Hopefully this approach goes some way to alleviating people's worries and demonstrates that those experiences can be an asset rather than a hindrance.
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Re: "Lived experience of mental health"

Post by Borrowed Cone » Tue Mar 25, 2014 10:29 pm

sorry to be a pedant but those of you talking about positive "discrimination" most likely mean "positive action". Positive discrimination is illegal under the Equality Act 2010.

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Re: "Lived experience of mental health"

Post by HedleyLamarr » Thu Mar 27, 2014 11:20 am

Borrowed Cone wrote:sorry to be a pedant but those of you talking about positive "discrimination" most likely mean "positive action". Positive discrimination is illegal under the Equality Act 2010.
Good point
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Re: "Lived experience of mental health"

Post by Randomswirls » Tue Apr 15, 2014 11:55 pm

The jobs that I do Peer Support Work and Peer Training mean that it is essential to have lived experience of Mental Health to do the job. I think the fact it is seen as a desirable characteristic is a really positive step forwards and I think it is indicitive of the move towards increasing levels of service user involvement.

In terms of employers being positive about disability you have the two tick scheme but there is also the Mindful employers scheme where employers say they are positive about hiring people with mental health issues - http://www.mindfulemployer.net/charter/.

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Re: "Lived experience of mental health"

Post by alexh » Sat May 03, 2014 8:39 pm

I find this question tremendously difficult to answer. Dichotomises a continuum.

Are there criteria that indicate whether one has lived experiences?

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