W21 – Centering Lived Experience in Mental Health Education: Opportunities, Approaches, and Reflections

W21 – Centering Lived Experience in Mental Health Education: Opportunities, Approaches, and Reflections

Friday, Oct. 28
10:45 – 11:45 (1 hr)
Meeting Room: Sheraton Hall B (Lower Concourse)
Anne Kirvan*, MSW, PhD (C); Chantalle Clarkin; Megha Duggal; Sam Gruszecki; Andrew Johnson; Jordana Rovet; Moshe Sakal; Stephanie Wang; Allison Crawford, MD, FRCPC

CanMEDS Roles:

  1. Collaborator
  2. Communicator
  3. Professional

At the end of this session, participants will be able to: 1) Identify opportunities for the ethical inclusion of lived experience within mental health education; 2) Critically reflect on and describe approaches for the meaningful inclusion of people with lived experience as educators in mental health education; and 3) Describe the community member educator role within the ECHO model and how it contributes to ECHO Ontario Mental Health participants’ learning.

Including people with lived experience (PWLE) in the planning, delivery, and evaluation of mental health education has the potential to significantly enhance the quality of education and training and the care provided to patients and communities. This interactive workshop will discuss opportunities and approaches for centering lived experience in continuing professional development (CPD). Participants will engage in critical reflection and discussion on topics such as organizational readiness and culture, power sharing, trust building, privacy, representation, and compensation. This workshop will be co-developed and co-delivered by members of the Centre for Addiction and Mental Health (CAMH), Collaborative Learning College (CLC), and ECHO Ontario Mental Health (ECHO-ONMH) teams, inclusive of PWLE. The CLC is a recovery-oriented education program that is co-led by PWLE and offers training and consultation regarding ethical and effective approaches to involving PWLE in health care settings. ECHO-ONMH is a CPD program that uses online communities of practice to build mental health capacity in primary and community care settings by bringing together geographically dispersed health care providers with subject-matter specialists (e.g., mental health clinicians, PWLE, librarians) for knowledge sharing, case-based learning, and discussion. Using ECHO-ONMH as a case example, participants in this workshop will have an opportunity to learn about the process of introducing and integrating PWLE within ECHO programs at CAMH. Program evaluation findings and lessons learned will be shared. Participants will be provided with information and resources to support them to consider opportunities and approaches for the integration of lived experience within their health care settings.


  1. Sockalingam S, Arena A, Serhal E, et al. Building provincial mental health capacity in primary care: an evaluation of a project ECHO mental health program. Acad Psychiatry 2018;42:451–7.
  2. McMahon GT. Learning together: engaging patients as partners in CPD. J Contin Educ Health Prof 2021;41:268–72.