To date, there is no professional body for Lived Experience Practitioners, nor is there an established code of conduct, given this it is imperative to outline the key ethical principles by which CHIME to Thrive operates. These are given below.
All clients will be treated with dignity, compassion and respect. It is understood that all clients, regardless of individual, cultural or role differences, will have knowledge, insight, experience and expertise in their own condition which will be explored collaberatively with them, with the aim of supporting them to thrive. As peers, both the Lived Experience Pracitioner and the client are viewed as equals in terms of power-dynamics.
Any personal information gathered will remain confidential within the organisation in line with GDPR unless explicit consent has been given to share this information by the client for specific purposes. The only exception to this would be in the case of an emergency where the client or others are felt to be at risk of harm (see here).
The Lived Experience Pracitioner will be utilising personal, professional and academic experience to support the client within practice and will not make claims beyond their scope of knowledge.
- 19 years of experiential knowledge acquired from periods of anxiety, depression, self-harm, disordered eating, trauma and eventual diagnosis of Complex Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder and Post-Traumatic Stress symptoms 3 years ago. Experience of denial to access of service when needed, crises, hospital admission and ongoing recovery (I do not claim to be the finished article).
Lived Experience Practitioners will use a combination of: experiential knowledge acquired through having lived with mental ill health and recovery; clinical and personal skills gained through working in health and social sectors; and up-to-date evidence around issues relevant to the role including trauma-infromed practice, recovery principles and peer support.
Lived Experience Practitioners will acknowledge the limits to their own knowledge and support clients to access other professionals if required and will be supported to engage in continued professional development, including undertaking further, relevant training which would benefit their role and their clients.
The organisation comissions a Clincal Psychologist to provide regular clinical and personal supervision to practitioners to support safe, ethical and effective practice.
CHIME to Thrive and its practitioners will be honest, fair and open in their words, methods and outcomes. The organisation and it's employees will endeavour to be authentic in their approach recognising the importance of human-to-human interactions where individuals hold equal value and status.
Practitioners will be professional, whilst also acknowledging that traditional boundaries heralded in traditional professional vs patient relationships will need to be challenged; rigid/artificial boundaries which segregate 'us' and 'them' will be unhelpful within this capacity and the organisation recognises the importance of sharing experience in supporting recovery within a peer-capacity. This can make the role emotionally challenging and practitioners will be supported both personally and professionally to do this role effectively and safely.
CHIME to Thrive aims to actively support people to reach a place where they are able to function as independently as possible, whilst simultaneously advocating that there is no shame in anybody requiring support until that place is reached. CHIME to Thrive will advocate for people where needed if this is what they want or need, and if they are unable to do this for themselves.
CHIME to Thrive has a strong sense of duty towards the individuals we support. We are not a crisis service, however we will endeavour to do all we can to ensure those within our care are safe and supported to thrive.