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Embedding lived experience into mental health academic research organizations: Critical reflections

Hawke, Lisa D.; Sheikhan, Natasha Y.; Jones, Nev; Slade, Mike; Soklaridis, Sophie; Wells, Samantha; Castle, David


Lisa D. Hawke

Natasha Y. Sheikhan

Nev Jones

Professor of Mental Health Recovery and Social Inclusion

Sophie Soklaridis

Samantha Wells

David Castle


Background: As part of a growing emphasis on engaging people with lived experience of mental health conditions in mental health research, there are increasing calls to consider and embed lived experience throughout academic research institutes. This extends beyond the engagement of lay patients andalso considers the potential roles of academic researchers with lived experience. When the lived experience of academic researchers is applied to academic work, there is the potential to improve the relevance of the research, while destigmatizing mental illness within academia. However, there are different and often contrasting perspectives on the way a lived experience academic researcher initiative should be implemented. Objectives: This article describes some of the key issues to be considered when planning an initiative that leverages and values the lived experience of academic researchers, including the advantages and disadvantages of each potential approach. Discussion & Recommendations: Institutions are encouraged to reflect on the ways that they might support and value lived experience among academic researchers. In developing any such initiative, institutions are encouraged to be transparent about their objectives and values, undertake a careful planning process, involve researchers with lived experience from the outsetand consistently challenge the stigma experienced by academic researchers with lived experience. Patient or Public Contribution: Multiple authors are academic researchers with lived experience of mental health conditions.


Hawke, L. D., Sheikhan, N. Y., Jones, N., Slade, M., Soklaridis, S., Wells, S., & Castle, D. (2022). Embedding lived experience into mental health academic research organizations: Critical reflections. Health Expectations, 25(5), 2299-2305.

Journal Article Type Article
Acceptance Date Aug 10, 2022
Online Publication Date Aug 23, 2022
Publication Date 2022-10
Deposit Date Aug 12, 2022
Publicly Available Date Aug 26, 2022
Journal Health Expectations
Print ISSN 1369-6513
Electronic ISSN 1369-7625
Publisher Wiley
Peer Reviewed Peer Reviewed
Volume 25
Issue 5
Pages 2299-2305
Keywords mental illness; addiction; academics; academic leadership; patient-oriented research; patient engagement; patient involvement; lived experience; lived expertise
Public URL
Publisher URL


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