NSPA Lived Experience Influencers

NSPA’s Lived Experience Network is striving to ensure that suicide prevention activity across the country is underpinned by the voices of people with lived experience, and that knowledge of those with lived experience is valued, respected and seen as legitimate.
As part of this, we are working with a group of Lived Experience Influencers, who are provided with training and regular support to draw on their lived experience in influencing roles and opportunities.

We’re recruiting 10 new Influencers!

If you are interested in hearing more about the role of Lived Experience Influencers, please read:
  • Role Overview, which includes more information about being a Lived Experience Influencer, experiences and skills that we are looking for, and information about the training dates.
  • Our ‘readiness’ document – Talking about suicide can be emotionally challenging. We would recommend you taking some time to read through and reflect on whether this feels right for you at the moment before making an application. 
  • Please ensure you have read the above two documents, and checked training dates, before making an application. You can also read more below and in our Influencer recruitment FAQs


How do I apply?

If you would like to apply, please submit complete an online application here by 31st August at 9am.

Please note that if you complete the application via this online form, it is not possible to save your application part way through and come back to it. We recommend that you draft your answers somewhere where you can save them on your computer, phone or tablet, and then copy into this form.

If you are unable to access the online application form for any reason, or would prefer to complete an application form via a Word document, please email livedexperience@nspa.org.uk

Who can be a Lived Experience Influencer?

Our Lived Experience Influencers are all over 18, reside in England, and have lived experience(s) related to suicide. By ‘lived experience’, we mean personal experience of one or more of the following:

  • Living with suicidal thoughts
  • Experience of attempting suicide
  • Being bereaved by suicide
  • Supporting or caring for a loved one with experience of suicidality

We are particularly keen to receive applications from people who are from marginalised or under-represented groups in suicide prevention, including:

  • People who are Black, Asian or from a racialised or minoritised ethnicity group
  • People who are Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender, or Queer (LGBTQ+)
  • People who are neurodivergent
  • People who have had lived experience in the criminal justice system (e.g. experience of prison, or in probation services)
  • People with experience of maternal or perinatal mental health difficulties
  • People who have had experiences of homelessness.


The aims of the training will be to equip the Influencers to safely, effectively and meaningfully use their lived experience to inform and influence suicide prevention policy and practice in a range of settings. 

You will be asked to attend a “meet & greet” session, followed by 7 group training sessions, and some short one to one sessions with staff. These sessions will be delivered online via Zoom. Full instructions will be provided. 

Dates and times of the sessions are listed below: 

Meet & Greet: Wednesday 20th September 10.30am-12

Session 1: Welcome, introductions and working together – Wednesday 4th October 10am-12

Session 2: Exploring self care – Friday 13th October 10am – 1pm

Session 3: Suicide and suicide prevention in England – Wednesday 18th October 10am – 1pm

Session 4: Influence and Participation and preparing to share our own experiences – Wednesday 25th October 10am-12

Session 5: Sharing our lived experiences – Wednesday 1st November 10am-1pm

Session 6: Story sharing reflections and application and skills practice – Wednesday 8th November 10am-12

Session 7: Closing this training and moving forward – Wednesday 15th November 10am-12

Influencers will be equipped to:

  • Understand the aims, objectives and working practices of the NSPA; how this Lived Experience Programme sits within in it and within the suicide prevention agenda
  • Understand the current picture regarding suicide and prevention activity in England and how national and local policy and practice works to help prevent suicide and support people bereaved by suicide
  • Understand the range of involvement opportunities to influence suicide prevention and develop the knowledge and skills required to effectively and confidently participate
  • Be aware of and know how to access national and local suicide prevention and wellbeing resources for themselves and others
  • Explore and develop personal self-care, wellbeing and resilience strategies
  • Develop an awareness of using safe and effective messaging and language when speaking or writing about suicide in different contexts
  • Explore and understand ethics and boundaries involved in suicide prevention Influence and Participation work relevant to their roles
  • Understand the values, principles benefits, challenges and practices involved in Influence and Participation work
  • Prepare practice and reflect on sharing their lived experience in order to more fully understand how it can be used to effectively influence suicide prevention policy and practice in a range of settings
  • Appreciate the range and diversity of lived experience of others and be able to represent views and experiences different to their own
  • Develop their active listening, communication skills and confidence to influence conversations about suicide in a range of settings


To support the wellbeing and development of members of our Lived Experience Influencer group, we offer the following support:

  • Influencers will be provided with a contact email address throughout the process and are encouraged to make contact about any concerns or questions they have.
  • As part of the initial training Influencers will be provided with an externally facilitated online wellbeing session that explores ways of supporting wellbeing, with practical tools for people to use.
  • Influencers will be offered group reflective learning spaces throughout the year
  • As the programme develops, we will provide Influencers with regular information on how the group has been used to influence suicide prevention policy and practice. We also hope that Influencers will continue to shape the future of the programme.
  • Depending on the needs of Influencers and the programme, we will identify development needs and offer or signpost to ongoing learning opportunities.


Talking about suicide can be emotionally challenging or triggering. If you need support, you can find a service local to you here: hubofhope.co.uk

Samaritans provides confidential emotional support 24/7 to anyone in distress, including anyone that is feeling suicidal: call 116 123 or email jo@samaritans.org.

Promoting Equality & Diversity

NSPA believes that diversity of experience and background is essential to this work and will add value to the lived experience programme.

In particular, we are keen that diverse voices of people with lived experience are amplified, heard and influence suicide prevention, both in relation to peoples’ experiences related to suicide and wider experiences and identities that may intersect.

We are also committed to recognising diversity in all areas of this work and in ensuring equality of opportunity and outcome.  We recognise the impact of discrimination and disadvantage on many groups in society, especially those with protected characteristics.  In line with the Equality Act (2010) and Human Rights Act (1998) we want to afford all those we work with the dignity and respect so essential in achieving their full potential, free of intentional or unintentional bias.

Questions and further information

If you have further questions, do feel free to contact us by emailing livedexperience@nspa.org.uk 

You may also find it useful to read our Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ) document about being a Lived Experience Influencer, which can be downloaded here.