Lived Experience Workforce Guidelines
Lived Experience workers have unique knowledge, abilities and attributes. They draw on their own life-changing experience, service use and their journey of recovery and healing, to support others.
They understand the critical need for connection and utilise this expertise to inspire others to find hope. They build relationships based on a collective understanding of shared experience, self-determination, and empowerment and they provide an important resource for change.
The Australian Government has a long-standing commitment to supporting the development of the Lived Experience workforce. A thriving mental health Lived Experience workforce is considered a vital component of quality, recovery-focused mental health services.
The Commission has developed the National Lived Experience (Peer) Workforce Development Guidelines under Action 29 of the Fifth National Mental Health and Suicide Prevention Plan.
The National Lived Experience (Peer) Workforce Development Guidelines are primarily intended to inform decision makers, including employers and funding bodies and to support change across the mental health sector by improving understanding of the benefits of the Lived Experience workforce and by supporting employers to assess their local readiness and prioritise activities that support successful implementation.
The National Lived Experience (Peer) Workforce Development Guidelines are the result of extensive consultation and a co-production process with people with diverse perspectives to ensure that a broad range of views, experiences, identifications and cultural perspectives were included. Stakeholders included people with personal or direct Lived Experience (consumers), families and carers, designated Lived Experience workers, people working for government departments, mental health commissions, managers and employers, and non-designated colleagues.
To view the transcript of Assistant Minister Coleman’s speech delivered at the launch of the National Lived Experience (Peer) Workforce Development Guidelines, please click here: Launch of the National Lived Experience (Peer) Workforce Development Guidelines | Ministers Media Centre (pmc.gov.au)
Watch the full webinar launch below.
You can view and download the National Lived Experience (Peer) Workforce Development Guidelines and companion documents by clicking on the images below.
National Lived Experience Workforce Development Guidelines Steering Committee
The National Mental Health Commission established a Steering Committee to oversee the Commission’s work to develop the Lived Experience Workforce Development Guidelines under Action 29 of the Fifth National Mental Health and Suicide Prevention Plan Implementation Plan.
The following individuals were selected to sit on the Steering Committee, the Commission is grateful for each member’s contribution to the development of the guidelines:
- Lyndall Soper (NMHC Deputy, Monitoring and Reform)
- Margaret Doherty (Carer Peer Worker; Deputy Co-Chair)
- Tim Heffernan (Consumer Peer Worker; Deputy Co-Chair)
- Darren Jiggins, Lived Experience Australia
- Sandi Taylor, Indigenous Sector Perspective
- Heather Nowak, Consumer Peer Worker
- Jessica English, Consumer Peer Worker
- Max Simensen, Consumer Peer Worker
- Ruth O’Sullivan, Carer Peer Worker
- Susan Adam, Lived Experience Australia
- Emma Cadogan, Government Perspective
- Megan Still, Employer/ Service Perspective
These members brought representation from across the mental health sector and across jurisdictions, including a majority of the committee being peer workers with experience across public, private and community-managed sectors. Membership comprised of five consumer peer workers and three carer peer workers as well as one representative from the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander community who identifies as a carer. Three members brought an organisational perspective from a non-peer background and have experience developing the lived experience workforce. The Steering Committee also had representation from the LGBTIQ+ community, a number of young peer workers and people from rural and remote regions.