Turn your pain into passion

Di Krome

Lived Experience Mentoring

You’ve been through a lot. Distress. Pain. Suffering. Loss. Been knocked down again and again and each time clawed your way back from the abyss. A baptism of fire. But you survived. You’ve come out the other side

Now you want to make a difference. Help other people with lived experience of suicide. Advocate. Change the system. Or burn the systems down and create something new from the ashes.

But how do you make meaning of your lived experience? Find your voice? Turn your pain into purpose?

In the beginning, I had no-one to help me make meaning of my lived experience. I felt cast adrift from life. There was before and then there was after. Nothing would ever be the same again. There were so many things in my life I no longer found meaningful. So many things that no longer mattered.

Then someone asked me, “What is it you can’t not do, Di”? This was one of those rare, heart-stopping moments you only experience once or twice in a lifetime. This question stopped me in my tracks. Drove me to reflect. Do the inner work. I did a lot of soul searching. I realised the thing I can’t not do in this life is working to save other people’s lives, to advocate, to reform the systems that are supposed to help, but often do more harm. To create whole new systems based on compassion and self-determination. Systems shaped by people with lived experience.

Coming into the suicide prevention sector from a completely different profession was like travelling to another country and not speaking the language. I was committed to learning and had a burning desire to help other people with lived experience. But where do I start? How can I make an impact? What type of work do I want to do? Am I ready for this? Will this cause me more distress? How do I protect myself?

Do I want to completely reinvent myself? Retrain, start a new career? Do lived experience work on the side? Volunteer? Start a business or foundation?

Navigating this new world without a guide or compass was challenging. Harder than it needed to be.

A mentoring relationship provides a safe space to connect deeply from a place of shared experience, where you can explore your options, find your voice and develop a road map to navigate the wondrous space of lived experience work. To find your place and make a difference. Where you can find meaning through honouring your lived experience in a purposeful way.

Lived Experience Consulting

Nothing About us without us

The shift towards integrating the voices of people with lived experience into shaping every aspect of suicide prevention is accelerating at an ever-increasing pace. The adoption of new work practices can be challenging and cause angst during this massive paradigm shift as people find their new place.

Organisations that work in the suicide prevention space are experiencing a shift from a consultative model to a collaborative or co-design model. Partnerships between organisations and people with lived experience are creating value never seen before.

After being denied access for decades, people with lived experience are demanding an equal seat at the table in activities from local co-design processes to influencing national policy frameworks.

Change can be hard. Decades of habits are ingrained. A letting go of old paradigms, operating models, and mindsets needs to occur for this new way of working to take root.

The benefits far outweigh the costs, with a new era of self-determination for those living through distress, pain, loss, and grief. People with lived experience bring an amazing treasure trove of wisdom and insights. Meld this with conventional evidence-based research, clinical integrity and robust policy and planning processes and together we can holistically address the causal factors of distress and suicide and create supports valued by people with lived experience. To make things better for those to come.

Without a plan to get you from where you are now to where you want to be, individual initiatives undertaken in isolation may fall short of desired outcomes.

Wildfire Business Consulting collaborates with leaders to develop a road map for new ways of working with people with lived experience. Di brings commercial acumen to the table, combining her 30+ years corporate experience in governance, stakeholder engagement, project management and co-design, her lived experience of suicide, and insights from multiple identified lived experience roles to help organisations adapt to this new world of lived experience integration.

Di works with organisations in multiple capacities...

Consulting services to establish new advisory groups and governance frameworks, strategies, policies and processes, new capabilities and to manage the change to the new ways of working.
Lived experience representation services – sitting on/ chairing steering committees, advisory groups, interview panels, and tender evaluation panels
Co-design services – facilitation of co-design processes such as designing service delivery models for new distress support services