Library of Lived Experience shortlisted by 2023 North West Coast Research and Innovation Awards

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A mental health resource created by a team led by Lancaster University and Lancashire Care NHS Foundation Trust has been shortlisted for Outstanding Contribution to Patient and Public Involvement (PPI) in the 2023 North West Coast Research and Innovation Awards.

The Library of Lived Experience for Mental Health in the North West was created by a team led from the Spectrum Centre in the Faculty of Health and Medicine.

The team included researchers with lived experience and people with lived experience of mental health issues.

Professor Fiona Lobban said: “People with lived experience of mental health difficulties are often best placed to help others. We want to try and explore new ways in which people can do this. One way is to do this via a Living Library.”

A LLE employs people as living books, trained and supported to share their experiences in one-to-one conversations. Readers are people seeking to learn about mental health to help themselves, a loved one, or they might be staff. Readers choose a book based on a short author summary and have a conversation with the book.

Patient and Public Involvement (PPI) was embedded throughout the project including an Experience Based Codesign Group who codesigned the outputs, a Patient and Public Involvement (PPI) Group who codesigned the study design, and an Expert Advisory group comprising people with personal and professional mental health (MH) experiences.

In the Experience-Based Co-Design (EBCD) workstream, 31 people with lived and learned experiences attended 10 workshops to co-design an implementation guide of an LLE. 21 had experience of using mental health services and 13 were relatives and carers.

Professor Lobban said: “We were guided by people with lived experiences. Our co-designed, theory-informed guide was made possible by extensive PPI involvement. PPI members brought expertise and a range of experiences related to LLEs, encouraging us to think about the purpose of the LLE and how to involve people in future implementation evaluations.”

Innovation Agency Chief Executive Dr Phil Jennings said: “These awards are an opportunity to pay tribute to those who work to reduce health inequalities and improve patient care. Whether in healthcare or academia, I look forward to receiving nominations and meeting those who have made a real difference to life in the region and beyond.”

The awards are hosted by the Innovation Agency, NIHR Clinical Research Network: North West Coast (CRN NWC) and The Applied Research Collaboration North West Coast (ARC NWC).

The winners will be announced at a ceremony on 22 June 2023 to be held at The Spine in Liverpool.

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