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National Lived Experience (Peer) Workforce Development Guidelines

Foreword from the Commission

The Fifth National Mental Health and Suicide Prevention Plan is clear, Australia’s mental health workforce is in need of growth and development.
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A thriving mental health Lived Experience (Peer) workforce is a vital component of “quality, recovery-focused mental health services”. This principle is embedded in the mental health plans and policies that influence all mental health care services in Australia.
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A shared agenda for change

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The National Lived Experience Workforce Development Guidelines

The National Mental Health Commission (the Commission) has led the development of the National Lived Experience Workforce Development Guidelines as a key reform initiative of the Fifth National Mental Health and Suicide Prevention Plan.
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Principles to guide workforce development

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How to use the National Development Guidelines

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Talking about Lived Experience: language and definitions

The way we talk about lived experience makes a fundamental difference to the way we engage with and prioritise the development of the Lived Experience workforce.
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Aboriginal flag Torres Strait Islander flag

Acknowledgement of Country

The Commission acknowledges the traditional custodians of the lands throughout Australia.
We pay our respects to their clans, and to the elders, past present and emerging, and acknowledge their continuing connection to land, sea and community.


The Commission is committed to embracing diversity and eliminating all forms of discrimination in the provision of health services. The Commission welcomes all people irrespective of ethnicity, lifestyle choice, faith, sexual orientation and gender identity.

Lived Experience

We acknowledge the individual and collective contributions of those with a lived and living experience of mental ill-health and suicide, and those who love, have loved and care for them. Each person’s journey is unique and a valued contribution to Australia’s commitment to mental health suicide prevention systems reform.