Success Stories & Case Studies

​​We Know It Works

The strongest evidence we have to demonstrate the effectiveness of this​ model is through testimonials from organizational and coalition leaders who partner with lived experience representatives and benefit from their authentic perspective. Below are a few quotes from agencies within the Children's Mental Health Collective Impact network speaking about the impact of involving individuals with lived experience in their organizations:​

“People with lived experience help us get out of our silos and see the big picture.” 

“The passion of families/young adult partners reminds us all 'why' we got into this work in the first place & hold us accountable to doing the best work possible.” 

“We develop better practices and services when we have people with lived experience guiding our work.”

Organization and coalition leaders describe the impact of having lived experience representation in their work:

Researchers in the field also acknowledge the benefits to partnering with people who have lived experience. In a project connected to families who had experience homelessness, Dr. Ellen Bassuk acknowledged that, “by drawing on their expertise and skills, we do the right thing and the smart thing."


The Suicide Prevention Resource Center Lived Experience Toolkit ( compiled a list which “illustrates many of the benefits for organizations when they incorporate people with lived experience in their planning and decision-making processes."

  • Equitable Workplace: Break down hierarchies and avoid stagnation

  • Quality Improvement: Operationalize policy issues by illustrating the real life and practical challenges in implementing laws, policies, and strategies efficiently and effectively

  • Staff Development: Empower staff to embrace their own lived experience

  • Community Engagement: Build relationships of trust with communities and individuals; increase reach, leverage, and traction of activities and services; and generate social capital