Lived Experience Network Establishment Committee – Call for new members

If you’re interested in getting involved with the AEPCC-LEN Establishment Committee, please complete the form below and someone from the team will be in touch. 
Expressions of interest close at 11:59PM (Melbourne time) on Thursday 17 August 2023

What is AEPCC?

AEPCC is the Australian Early Psychosis Collaborative Consortium – we pronounce it like ‘APEX’. It’s a new project being led by Orygen, aiming to improve the lives of young people with living and lived experience of early psychosis. We hope to achieve this by strengthening early psychosis services, improving the quality of early psychosis research and connecting people from across the early psychosis sector.

In 2022 we established a new program, the AEPCC Lived Experience Network (LEN). The AEPCC-LEN is an opportunity for the early psychosis lived experience community to have a say, and have a seat at the table alongside researchers and clinicians.

What is the opportunity? 

To be a part of the AEPCC-LEN Establishment Committee. This decision-making body will drive the design of the AEPCC-LEN, and will be made up of representatives from across Australia, coming together to share their experiences and advocate for the needs of the early psychosis community. This Establishment Committee currently has 11 members most of whom are young people (16-30) with a lived experience of early psychosis. We are hoping to add 6 more members to our LEN Establishment committee – 3 young people and we are also inviting 3 carers, family members or friends of young people with a lived experience of early psychosis to help support this committee and offer their expertise. 

The Establishment Committee has been set up with several key goals in mind:

  1. To identify the needs of the early psychosis community

The LEN Establishment Committee will work to not only identify these needs, but to prioritise them and advocate for them across AEPCC.

  • To co-design the AEPCC-LEN

With the needs and experiences of the lived experience community as a foundation, we are co-designing a vision for the AEPCC-LEN. The co-design so far has been an iterative process, informed through consultation with co-design experts and the other programs of AEPCC.

  • To explore ways of embedding lived experience voices across AEPCC.

The LEN Establishment Committee is working to develop a plan to integrate lived experience voices across the whole of AEPCC and explore ways of ensuring that they’re not only present, but also heard.

  • To explore ways of meaningfully engaging with marginalised & at-risk communities.

We know that some groups of young Australians are more vulnerable to mental illness and to psychosis than others. Likewise, we know that some groups have been historically shut-out from conversations around their own care. For this reason, we strongly encourage applications from diverse and marginalised communities. Likewise, the LEN Establishment Committee will work to partner with these communities broadly, in a way that’s mutual, constructive and avoids tokenism. 

  • To both receive training, and to develop training for the research and lived experience community.

In order for everyone to participate in the Establishment Committee as equals, we have offered training and resources around research, clinical practice and advocacy. Likewise, the Establishment Committee is working on developing its own guidelines around best practice for lived experience participation in the early psychosis space and is also exploring ways of building the capacity for the lived experience community to participate in research and clinical care.

  • To deliver up to 2 public engagement projects

By mid-2024 we will deliver up to two public engagement projects with the joint aims of combatting stigma, raising awareness around psychosis. These public engagement projects will be directed and organised by LEN Establishment Committee members.

What will be involved? 

Establishment Committee Meetings

The LEN Establishment Committee has been meeting since July 2022 and will continue to meet until December 2024. Meetings are usually held on the last Wednesday of the month from 5:00 pm – 7:00 pm Melbourne/ Sydney time. 

Most meetings and committee activities will take place online over Zoom or Teams. 

Within meetings, we have ongoing conversations about the AEPCC-LEN, we endeavour to make this a safe and comfortable space so that members can comfortably share input and make decisions around how the LEN operates. There is frequently the opportunity to participate in design activities with other group members.

In your role, there might be times where you feel it would be useful to share your lived experience of mental health, however this is entirely up to you and there is no pressure for you to do so.

Committee Meetings are facilitated by Dee (Deanna) De Cicco (she/her), the LEN Coordinator and Chair of the LEN Establishment Committee.

Additional Responsibilities

Outside of our regular meetings, it is expected committee members to spend between 1-2 hours per month on additional responsibilities, which might include some of the following tasks:

  • Preparing for upcoming meetings (for example, reading up on background material)
  • Participating in training
  • Participating in group co-reflection; a process where we meet, reflect on the work we’re doing together and learn from our experiences as a group.  
  • Completing take-home tasks
  • Sending and receiving emails

Who are we looking for?

Our current committee is made up of 11 members. We are looking to expand by 6 additional members. We are hoping for 3 young people (16-30) with a lived experience of early psychosis and 3 family/ carer/ support people.

For this application round we will be prioritising applicants who live, work and play in Western Australia, Northern Territory, Canberra, Tasmania and regional and remote areas.

Ensuring that AEPCC is accessible to all young Australians is of high priority to the project team. Therefore, we strongly welcome and encourage applications from Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander young people, young people from the LGBTQIA+ community, neurodivergent young people, young people from culturally and linguistically diverse backgrounds, and young people with disability.

In order to make this opportunity accessible to all, please let us know if there are any supports we can provide. We’re constantly learning and changing our practices to make these participation opportunities as safe, as inclusive and as mutually beneficial as possible. 

Are you the right person for this role?

If you meet the following criteria, you might be the right person for this opportunity: 

However, more than anything else, we want to work with people who are passionate about mental health and making a difference – if this describes you, we encourage you express interest and get involved.

What might be some outcomes of your involvement?

This is a unique opportunity to participate in a nationwide project, one that aims to improve the clinical outcomes of young people living with psychosis. As mentioned, there are two other programs to AEPCC: a Clinical Trials and Translation Network, and a Clinical Quality Registry.

Both of these programs have significant implications for the early psychosis community. By participating in this establishment committee, and helping to set up the AEPCC-LEN, you will be ensuring that your needs and the needs of your community are being considered by these programs and AEPCC broadly. While many decisions about AEPCC have already been made, there continues to be plenty of opportunities to influence the direction of AEPCC and help inform our next steps. Likewise, the AEPCC-LEN is an entirely peer-led and peer-designed arm of the project.   

If your application is successful, you will receive training, resources and supervision to help build your skills and capacity to contribute. Likewise, there will be opportunities to learn and grow by working collaboratively with people of different expertise, and you stand to gain valuable experiences in co-design, facilitation and advocacy.

To recognise your time and effort, you will be reimbursed a $120 per month to attend the monthly meetings. For any additional time spent on AEPCC-related activities, a separate reimbursement rate will be discussed and agreed upon. 

What supports will I have access to?

If you are a young person with lived experience of mental ill health, supports are available to you for the length of your involvement…

  • The LEN Coordinator will work with you to develop a wellness plan, which will outline anything we need to be aware of to support your safety and well being, including who you and the project team can contact if additional support is needed.
  • You’ll be offered regular group co-reflection with peers, facilitated by the LEN Coordinator.

Ensuring that you feel comfortable and supported for the duration of the project is of high priority. If there are any other ways we can support you through your time in this project, please don’t hesitate to reach out and let us know.

How can I get involved?

If you’re interested in getting involved with the AEPCC-LEN Establishment Committee, please complete the form below and someone from the team will be in touch.

Expressions of interest close at 11:59PM (Melbourne time) on Thursday 17 August 2023.

If you have any further questions, don’t hesitate to get in touch with either Dee De Cicco, the AEPCC LEN Coordinator, or Jo Fitzsimons, the AEPCC Executive Officer at AEPCC. Their contact information is available below

Dee (Deanna) De Cicco, LEN Coordinator, Pronouns: she/her.

Email: [email protected] M: +61 0472 544 424

Jo Fitzsimons, AEPCC Executive Office, Pronouns: she/her/hers

Email: [email protected] Phone: +61 0400 680 490

Welcome to the Australian Early Psychosis Collaborative Consortium website.

AEPCC does not provide mental health support. If you need support, click below to find contact details for services near you.
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