Transitioning into a new professional role can be both exciting and challenging. 

For me, it has been an opportunity to further meaningful work in suicide prevention as the Director of Lived Experience Initiatives, a first-of-its-kind national leadership position. 

In this role, I develop best practices for Lived Experience inclusion that will set standards for the country. This role includes creating inclusion processes and practices, developing awareness and training programs, developing guidelines, and working with stakeholders to ensure that Lived Experience is integrated into every national project. I am also honored to work with a broad group of amazing leaders who innovatively push this work in new directions. I have witnessed firsthand the importance of this work and how it can change our work and fields. I know this has the potential to prevent suicides and build deeper relationships. 

You might be wondering what Lived Experience is. 

Lived Experience refers to the unique knowledge and expertise that individuals gain from their personal experiences. It is an important perspective that can provide insight into individuals’ challenges and the solutions needed to address them. 

I focus on ensuring that these perspectives are centered at all levels of national work. By providing a platform for individuals to lead from their experiences, we can create more inclusive and diverse efforts that ensure we are meeting the unique needs of all populations. 

Lived Experience perspectives should be considered when developing policies, programs, and efforts. Doing so can lead to more innovative solutions, better outcomes, and a more equitable society. All of us can create cultures where these perspectives are valued and integrated.

I can’t wait to see what we can accomplish through the inclusion of lived experiences.


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