Welcome to the Mental Health and Supported Decision Making: Lived Experience Perspectives website.1

Here, you can find out about what it is like to experience severe mental health problems2 by seeing and hearing people’s stories on film and audio-recording.

Our researchers travelled around Victoria to talk to 29 people from a range of backgrounds who have received various psychiatric diagnoses including psychosis, schizophrenia, bipolar disorder, and depression. Many had received more than one diagnosis over the years.

Find out what people said about their experiences of diagnosis, medication, hospitalization, experiences with health professionals, discrimination, personal recovery, and their views about how they could best be supported by health professionals in making decision about treatments and other aspects of their lives. These are just some of the many topics covered! We hope you find the information helpful and reassuring.

You can start by watching an introduction from Indigo Daya and a preview of some of the interview video clips below. You can also go straight to the ‘Talking Points’ on the left, or explore ‘People’s Profiles’ to learn more about the people we spoke to.

PLEASE NOTE: This resource was developed under the guidance of and reviewed and approved by an Advisory Panel, including people with lived experiences of complex mental health concerns and their family supporters (carers). The published material includes the experiences of a wide cross-section of people with experience of complex mental health concerns, and some of the content of their interview extracts may be distressing for some viewers.

If you feel distressed by any of the material on this website, please contact either your usual support person, Lifeline (13 11 14), or any of the services listed on our Resources & Information page. Please also see disclaimer regarding language use on this site beneath this video.


Introduction by Indigo Daya


Watch a preview of some of the interviews


1 This website is an outcome of the ARC Linkage Project Options for Supported Decision-Making to Enhance the Recovery of People with Severe Mental Health Problems (SDM) project.

2 In designing and writing the content for this website, the authors acknowledge that there are many different opinions about the respectful use of language in the context of mental health experiences and systems. Some people are quite satisfied with the kinds of words and phrases commonly used within mental health settings, while others find this language inaccurate and offensive. Where people with lived experience have advised us that terminology is disputed, we have put those terms in quotation marks.