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Hope can flourish when we come together to connect

Our recent Networking Day really brought home to me the importance of coming together to connect and the sheer power of lived experience. Our Projects Coordinator Hannah tells us more.

Over 50 people gathered in Glasgow to take part in The Power of Lived Experience event (part of Creating Hope Together with Peer Support). It was a chance to learn from each other as we explored how to share experiences of mental health and suicide in a safe and supported way.

The event was hosted in partnership with Suicide Prevention Scotland’s Lived Experience Panel and United to Prevent Suicide. The themes of the day were based on our recently launched co-produced resources. These guides provide lots of practical advice on this very topic.

The Gathering Lived Experiences’ guide is a fantastic resource. It’s my bible when working with the lived experience panel, and is particularly helpful for the safe induction of new panel members.”

Tracy Millar, Lived Experience Panel Coordinator

We listened and learned from each other

Fireside discussions, like intimate conversations with a close friend, were a key part of this event. Here, individuals from the lived experience panel and United to Prevent Suicide movement explored the impact of sharing their lived experience. They spoke about how organisations can best support people through this process, and the importance of looking after our wellbeing throughout. We also heard from the members around where we can share our experiences; in peer spaces, through lived experience engagement opportunities, and by sharing recovery stories. Lived experiences, often surrounded by stigma, were highlighted as powerful tools for change.

Roundtable discussions, on the other hand, allowed for deeper engagement amongst the audience. They facilitated networking and connection, creating relationships based on empathy and shared experiences. Through the various discussions we were able to develop practice and learn together. When asked what they were taking away from the event one participant said:

I’m inspired by the stories I have heard today. Feeling hopeful about the future of peer support and mental health. Ideas about how to shape services using peer support.

Event participant

This Networking Day was not just an event; it’s part of a movement in Scotland. A movement that highlights the invaluable role of peer spaces. Environments where people can share their lived experiences without fear of judgment. As we discussed what people needed to feel safe and supported when sharing their experiences, it was clear that peer spaces offered this plus more; hope, empowerment and the feeling you are not alone.

This event was a reminder that hope can flourish when we come together to connect, listen to one another, and collaborate to create positive change. A true example of Creating Hope Together.


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Our Peer Connects online events are open for booking.