See Me's Lived Experience Gathering - The Findings

Posted by See Me, 23 November 2017

Thursday 19th of October marked an important time in See Me’s current history, as we created a space for people with lived experience to talk to us directly about why they thought it was important to tackle stigma and discrimination in health and social care, and think about how we might go about this together.

Our presentations also looked at possible current and future opportunities for people to get involved. To this end we were fortunate enough to have Mark Simpson from the Scottish Government present on the Digital Health and Care Strategy 2017-22, and to hear directly from people what they felt was important to achieving success with it.

However, the most important element of the day was having people with lived experience in a room together, so we could learn from their experiences. To lead us into that Gemma Welsh, a See Me volunteer who participated in our Senior Leaders’ Seminar in August, shared some of her story and where she thought the answers may lay.

Throughout the day there were 3 rounds of table discussions so that people could share their experiences, identify challenges, and search for solutions together:

  • What Works in Health and Social Care Settings;
  • Digital Health and Care Strategy 2017-22;
  • Opportunities to tackle stigma and discrimination, locally, regionally and nationally.

We will be taking the learning from the day with us to help with our influencing work. The table discussions reassured us that we were on the right track – they further confirmed to us that some of the areas that are the most important to tackle within health and social care are those where people seek help first and need it the most, such as General Practice and Accident and Emergency Departments within Hospitals.

On their feedback forms, many people wrote that the best bit for them was being able to share space and stories with like-minded people. We believe that community and social connectedness is crucial to maintain mental and emotional wellbeing, and therefore we look forward to seeing some of you in the future! However, in the meantime, we are always available if you have something you feel is important to inform our approach or an opportunity that we should be aware of.

A more comprehensive event report is available here.