Mental Health Peer Work Development and Promotion
The need to develop a national professional peer workforce and encourage support structures and professional development for the peer workforce is a key priority for the Commission. Mental Health Peer Work has been an area of focus for the National Mental Health Commission since our establishment in 2012.
The development and promotion of the mental health peer workforce has been recommended as part of our 2012 and 2013 National Report Cards and the 2014 Contributing Lives, Thriving Communities report.
Fifth Plan National Peer Workforce Development Guidelines
Under the Fifth National Mental Health and Suicide Prevention Plan (Fifth Plan), the Commission is leading the development of Peer Workforce Development Guidelines by 2021.
This project will help support the peer workforce through providing formalised guidance for governments, employers and the peer workforce about support structures required to sustain and grow the workforce. Although local and regional peer workforce frameworks exist, the development of national guidelines will ensure consistency across Australia. National guidelines will also be a step towards professionalisation of the peer workforce.
More information on the Guidelines Project is available on the Peer Workforce Development Guidelines page.
To register your interest in the project and stay up to date, please fill out the form by clicking on the 'Register your interest' link below.
Towards Professionalisation: A study into the feasibility of a national peer workforce organisation
Under a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU), the Department of Health tasked the National Mental Health Commission with investigating the feasibility of establishing a member based organisation for the peer workforce in Australia. The Commission funded the Private Mental Health Consumer Carer Network (now known as Lived Experience Australia) to undertake this work.
The project involved:
- Undertaking an Australian and international literature review
- Scoping for a better understanding of the peer workforce
- Conducting workshops in all Australian capital cities and engaging with peer workers in regional and rural Australia
- Collaborating and communicating with other organisations engaged in supporting peer workers
- Developing a model for a National Peer Organisation
- Having a booth at the 2017 and 2018 TheMHS Conferences
- Supporting the development of educational material focused on employers of peer workers
More information on the project can be accessed on the Lived Experience Australia website.
The Commission has provided the report and summary to the Department of Health, in accordance with the MoU, and will continue to liaise with the Department around potential next steps, including in the context of the Commission’s existing work under the Fifth National Mental Health and Suicide Prevention Plan.