Become an Influencer

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Thank you for your interest in becoming aInfluencer in the National Suicide Prevention Alliance’s lived experience network. We believe this to be an exciting opportunity to take part in influencing policy and practice, regionally and nationally, for people with lived experience of suicide and suicidal behaviour.  

We are looking to recruit 20 Influencers at the moment, and hope to grow the group over the next year. Influencers will be provided with specific training and regular support, and are being asked to give their time and skills, with some remuneration in line with good practice. 

Talking about suicide can be a trigger; you can check to see if you are ready to join this group and share your experience here.  

Download the application form here along with the diversity monitoring form here. Please return both forms by 9am on 21st September.

Overview of Influencers' role

Influencers will be provided with training and on-going supportand will be asked to use their lived experience to provide insight to a range of suicide prevention practitioners and stakeholders, which may include Governmental bodies and departments, statutory agencies and others involved in policy and practice related to suicide prevention.  They will be asked to attend training sessions and be involved in reviewing national, regional and local policy and practice in more detail, providing an opinion based on their lived experience. They could be asked to be involved in public speaking 

Influencers will be provided with training and on-going support, and will be asked to work at a strategic level to inform and influence suicide prevention policy and practice. This could include:

  • Attending meetings with national and local government or statutory agencies 
  • Reviewing national, regional and local strategies and plans 
  • Public speaking

Essential criteria

  • The role of ‘Influencer’ is open to anyone over the age of 18 who is resident in England and who has lived experience of suicide as defined above.
  • We are, at this stage, keen to recruit people able to work at a strategic level in meetings and policy formation, as this will not be part of the initial training. If you are not sure if you meet these criteria, please apply and if we cannot include you in the first group of influencers, we may be able to consider you as the group grows.
  • Although the role may involve being part of networks, forums, online meetings or discussions you do not need to have past experience of participation in these. However you must be prepared to give feedback on policy, ideas and practice.
  • Influencers must sign up to be on our lived experience panel (sign up here) and be willing to undertake online training (we may revert to face to face training in the future). Influencers may also find it useful to sign up as individual members of the NSPA but this is not essential.
  • Influencers will be expected to respect, accept and acknowledge diversity and difference and work towards promoting equality for all.

NSPA are particularly keen on gathering as wide a range of experiences from people with as broad a range of characteristics as possible and therefore welcome applications from all who meet these essential criteria.

Application Process

  • Applications must be submitted by 9am on 21st September 2020
  • Your completed application will be reviewed by a panel from NSPA and you may then be asked to take part in a short conversation about the role and your interest   
  • You will be told whether you will be invited to be an influencer following that conversation within two weeks 
    • Some candidates may be suitable but will be asked if they are willing to be kept on a waiting list due to the current limits on places or our need to ensure diversity of experience and background amongst influencers
    • Some candidates may not be ready now to be part of the group, but could be considered at a later date 
    • Some candidates may not meet the criteria for the Influencers group but could be asked to register as members of our online panel 
  • If asked to join the Influencers programme, you will be given the opportunity to look at the training plan, and share thoughts on useful additions
  • Training will be 6-8 2-hour sessions in October

Download the application form here along with the diversity monitoring form here. Please return both forms by 9am on 21st September.

Training 

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.  As the first cohort of lived experience Influencers, you will help to define the roles.

You will be asked to attend around 6 two-hour group training sessions on weekdays in October, and some short one to one sessions with staff. Due to current regulations and best practice relating to the COVID19 pandemic, these sessions are being planned for delivery via online video conferencing platform Zoom. Full instructions will be provided.

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

Support

As well as the normal demands of the role, we know that being an Influencer could be emotionally challenging. With this in mind we are establishing structures to support the wellbeing and development of the Influencers:

  • 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.
  • Influencers will have a 1:1 coaching call halfway through the initial training and after the training to give space for people to reflect individually on their experience with the project, the work going forward, and consider additional training and or support needs.
  • We are looking at ways for Influencers to join a facilitated online forum to share and reflect on the participation activities they are undertaking and to identify further information and training needs.
  • As part of the initial training Influencers will be provided with an externally facilitated online wellbeing and resilience session that provides practical tools that support wellbeing, help manage stress and increase resilience.
  • Influencers will be offered bite-sized additional information and training modules based on their needs from their experience of undertaking the work.
  • As the programme develops, we hope to provide Influencers with regular information on how the group has been used to influence suicide prevention policy and practice. We also hope the Influencers will help shape the future of the programme.
  • As the programme develops, we hope that we will be able to offer the Influencers ongoing professional development opportunities that meet their needs and the needs of the programme. We will work with the influencers to identify what the needs of the programme are.

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.

Why is this Influencer's group important? 

NSPA is passionate about involving people with lived experience in planning suicide prevention activity to provide an authentic voice. The truth and reality of your experience, shared effectively to the right audiences, will help make better policy and encourage better practices by professionals working on suicide prevention.  It will also help improve services that take into consideration the diverse and individual lived experiences to ensure more appropriate and responsive provision.

We will be offering the use of the Influencers to NSPA members and other organisations working in suicide prevention in England to support their work. 

Remuneration  

Travel and other expenses will be paid where necessary and some remuneration in line with good practice. This will range between £25 to £200 depending on activity.

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. 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.

We undertake diversity monitoring to ensure we promote equality of opportunity for all who wish to engage with us. It will help us ensure we work harder to encourage applications from under-represented groups both now and in the future. It will also support targeted surveying of panel members with protected characteristics to the benefit of suicide prevention programmes.

Accessibility 

If you need information on this programme in a different format like accessible PDF, large print, easy read, audio recording or braille or would like support in completing the online application please: 

emaillivedexperience@nspa.org.uk   

call: 07483 027879

We will acknowledge your request within 3 working days, and then will consider what solution is possible, which may take up to 28 working days.

Download your application form here along with your diversity monitoring form here. Please return both forms by 9am on 21st September.

Please note applications are invited from those aged 18 and over, however we are looking at how best children and young people can be engaged in the future 

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