Lived Experience (Peer) Workforce Development Guidelines Launch Webinar


0:02 good morning everyone and welcome to the launch of the national lived experience peer workforce development guidelines

0:09 we have more than 1030 people who have joined us for this webinar today which is an amazing response thank you

0:15 all my name is lindal soper and i'm the acting ceo of the national mental health

0:20 commission i'd like to begin by acknowledging the traditional custodians of the lands in

0:25 which i am speaking today in canberra that is the non-all people i pay my respects to their elders past

0:33 present and emerging i thank them for their ongoing contribution to our community

0:39 including their incredible and vibrant contribution to all aspects of our culture and our growing understanding of the

0:46 importance of connection to nature and to each other i would also like to acknowledge and

0:52 welcome all aboriginal and torres strait islander people who are here with us today

0:57 i'd also like to acknowledge the individuals and families who have a lived or living experience of mental ill

1:03 health and suicide those who are with us those who we have sadly lost

1:08 and those who are bereaved by suicide and today i would also like to

1:14 specifically acknowledge the work of peer workers and lived experienced workers amongst us

1:21 it gives me great pleasure to introduce stephen satour stephen is a pittanjara yunkunjara

1:28 pooram man from the api apylans he's currently the stronger together

1:33 campaign manager for iuok a dedicated campaign aimed at reducing suicide within aboriginal and torres

1:40 strait islander communities stephen has previously co-chaired the city of sydney aboriginal advisory

1:47 committee and is proud to be on the national nadoc committee stephen we're delighted you could be

1:53 here to lead today's acknowledgement of the country and speak to the importance of access to lived experience of culture

2:00 and shared understanding especially in suicide prevention welcome stephen thanks for now for that introduction

2:06 um as you said my name is steven satore i'm pitt and jelly and conjured up man from embankment alice springs in central

2:14 australia today i'm coming to you from garamela which is darwin the land of the lara kia people

2:21 i would like to pay my respects to my elders and the lara key elders both past and present i'd also like to extend that

2:28 respect and to all of your elders and traditional custodians of the countries

2:33 that you're coming to today i'd also like to acknowledge other aboriginal and

2:38 torres strait islander people uh here today as well we know that our communities face some

2:45 of the highest rates of suicides in the country and we're affected by mental illness uh

2:51 in our families and our communities quite significantly in my work with ru okay and national

2:57 naidoc i am fortunate enough to have people share their their lived experiences with me on a daily basis and

3:03 that ranges from remote communities regional areas as well as urban

3:08 cities and obviously with ruak we're all about conversations and how do we encourage

3:14 and enable those conversations especially in the workplace so it's really hard to see

3:20 that talk of how we have conversations and the language that we use in these conversations when it comes to lived

3:27 experience is weaved right through these guidelines i was also really heartened to see that the

3:33 responsibility doesn't sit with one person it's spread out and everyone can play a role

3:39 in developing our workforce also the emphasis on the regional remote

3:45 areas of australia where service providers really struggle to provide consistent access for aboriginal and

3:52 torres strait islander people especially i was i think the one thing that really came

3:58 through in these guidelines was that it is a a co-working a co-production

4:04 effort to make sure that we get these guidelines into place and we can really

4:10 take the learnings from the consultations and put them into practice

4:15 what really rang true for me was that even though the who the what the where may change through people's geographic

4:23 um cultural backgrounds the why remains the same and building the thriving mental health

4:30 lived experience workforce is really really critical so i'd like to congratulate everyone

4:36 that participated and put in the work to develop these guidelines those people with lived experience that that shared

4:43 their experience and really um brought life to these guidelines and substance these guidelines i'd like to

4:50 thank you for all that work thank you for having me

4:56 you so much stephen for your inspiring words and for your leadership in mental health and suicide prevention

5:02 today is another important step forward in our national mental health and suicide prevention reform

5:08 the national lived experience peer workforce development guidelines are a critical piece of work that have been

5:13 shaped by lived experienced voices to the 787 people whose voices have

5:19 shaped this project we say thank you we simply could not have developed these guidelines without you

5:26 we cannot achieve national system-wide reform without lived experienced voices

5:31 and we commit to centralizing lived experience in every piece of work we undertake and every subsequent piece of evidence

5:38 and advice we provide the realization of these guidelines has

5:43 come about thanks to the compassion and dedication of the peer workforce steering committee

5:49 this team of mental health leaders has been brilliantly led by deputy co-chairs tim heffernan and margaret doherty

5:56 to tim margaret and the entire steering committee we extend our gratitude to you

6:02 the work of dr louise byrne and her research team at rmit has also been instrumental we thank louise and her

6:09 team for their tremendous contribution to the development of these guidelines

6:14 we also thank you leslie cook for your guidance wisdom and support in the development of these guidelines

6:22 and lastly i would like to thank the commission team including alex haynes susan haywood and catherine brown who

6:29 toiled on these guidelines with us the launch of the national lived

6:34 experience peer workforce development guidelines coincides with a significant and exciting appointment within the

6:40 national mental health commission today i am pleased to announce that carrie lumby has been appointed as the

6:46 commission's inaugural director of lived experience carrie joins the commission after

6:52 working as a lived experience advocate peer worker and social worker at troubled dog a mission-based co-designed

7:00 consultancy run by lived experience advocates and as a strategic advisor at roses in the ocean

7:07 she brings lived experience perspectives of mental illness suicide and substance use as well as peer recovery and peer

7:14 work across those areas the director of lived experience is a significant position that will lead the

7:21 establishment of a network of mechanisms to ensure that the diversity and breadth of lived experience is incorporated into

7:28 and shapes all of the commission's priorities the role will be responsible for ensuring the commission's work benefits

7:34 from a diverse range of lived experience perspectives including the full breadth of mental illnesses stages of recovery

7:41 and population groups welcome aboard carrie and we look forward to working with you into 22

7:48 2022 and beyond thanks so much lindell it's fantastic to

7:53 be here and it's just um congratulations to everyone that's put in the hard work to see these

7:58 guidelines finally coming to life thanks carrie

8:04 i'm now pleased to introduce national mental health commissioner kerry hawkins

8:10 to discuss the significance of the national lived experience peer workforce development guidelines in greater detail

8:16 explain their importance and outline what we hope they will achieve welcome kerry

8:23 thanks lindell and welcome everybody um uh to this historic launch of these

8:29 historic guidelines um and i would also like to thank everybody for your attendance particularly those in western

8:35 australia for whom it's still eight o'clock in the morning so well done on an early start

8:41 and certainly on behalf of the commission we are so delighted um to welcome these guidelines and i would

8:46 also like um to reinforce the thanks um that that lindle has given for the people that the

8:53 enormous number of people who've contributed to this piece of work in particular around the guidelines but of course

9:00 obviously building on the voices over the decades of people with lived experience to bring us to

9:05 this point and i'd also like to recognise the emotional labor um that goes into

9:10 contributing such a massive uh and uh reform-oriented piece of work

9:17 i would also like to particularly acknowledge the deputy co-chairs tim heffernan and margaret doherty for

9:22 leading the steering committee on this piece of work and of course as well um

9:28 the amazing research team we are so privileged to have an international

9:33 leader here in australia for this field of the development of the lift experience workforce in dr louise byrne

9:40 who in you know speaking about emotional labor i think this has been a labor of love for her for this is her her decades

9:47 worth of work um that has come to fruition so we have been so fortunate in australia to have

9:52 an international leader in this field i i wanted to spend a moment also just

9:58 reflecting on and thanking the commission for the work that they've done in leading this is a this is the latest in a

10:04 significant uh body of work now that the commission has led starting particularly um with the

10:12 hard work of the previous my fellow previous commissioners janet marr

10:17 and the late jackie crowe in building on a significant piece of work that started over five

10:24 years ago so we've had the engage and participate in mental health report we've had the consumer and carer

10:30 engagement a practical guide sit beside me not above me and of course most recently

10:36 i was delighted to co-chair the consumer and care safety and quality engagement guide so the commission has

10:42 invested significant effort in elevating the voice of lived experience and it's

10:47 for a reason we know that the skills and the knowledge that the lived experience movement historically has brought to

10:55 mental health reform we know that the knowledge around trauma and what we call recovery has come in large part from

11:01 those brave voices of lived experience who have worked uh tirelessly and often with allies in

11:08 the sector with uh organizational and professional experience to bring this work to fruition

11:16 i finally wanted just to reflect for a moment on um what i've what i think is uh sacred and

11:23 precious work that is ahead of us in many ways this is the beginning of the work ahead

11:29 uh we are walking in the footsteps of giants who have uh contributed so much

11:37 to bring us to this point and i don't know about anybody else but i feel so honoured and daunted

11:43 to be part of this launch because we all know the work that has gone before us and the

11:51 work that is ahead of us in honouring the efforts of the people who have come

11:56 before us and in doing so i just wanted to reflect on the people who are not here today so

12:02 the people who have not yet been invited to this table we know who they are

12:08 some are family members some are people with lived experience some are currently in hospital some uh have no idea that this work is

12:15 going on but we have yet to reach and to hear those voices and so i really want

12:21 us to i want to urge everybody moving forward to be aware of the hard work that is only just

12:28 beginning so thanks very much lindell thank you kerry

12:33 the commonwealth government has walked in step with the commission in each of the progression points of the national lift experience peer workforce

12:40 development guidelines and the commission acknowledges and thanks the government for its unwavering support

12:46 i'm now pleased to introduce to you assistant minister to the prime minister for mental health and suicide prevention

12:52 the honourable david coleman to officially launch the national lift experience peer development guidelines

12:58 thank you assistant minister coleman well thank you linda lynn good morning everyone it's really nice to be here and

13:04 it's particularly um good to see so many people um participating

13:09 in the launch of these really important um guidelines and and uh saying hello from uh

13:15 all corners of the nation so and i think that um you know underscores the significance

13:20 of what is being launched today um look before i begin i'd like to acknowledge the traditional uh

13:26 custodians of the lands on which we all meet today um and of course i'd also like to

13:32 acknowledge uh individuals and families who have a lived experience of mental ill health ill health and

13:38 suicide those who are with us those who who we have lost

13:44 and those who are bereaved by suicide and i welcome the many colleagues from

13:49 the mental health sector that join us today the production of these guidelines has

13:54 been a huge effort and i want to thank everyone who has been involved in that work including margaret

14:00 doherty and tim heffernan who led the national lived experience uh workforce

14:05 development guidelines steering committee uh and and lindell uh who we've heard from today the acting ceo

14:12 of the nmhc uh and all of the staff at the commission for their very comprehensive

14:17 approach to this work uh and most importantly i want to thank the many hundreds of people with lived experience who have contributed uh

14:25 people who care for those with lived experience who have contributed and have been instrumental in the development of

14:30 these guidelines the guidelines couldn't have been done without your work so thank you for

14:36 participating and for advocating on behalf of people with lift experience

14:41 and lynch experience is central to national mental health and suicide prevention reform and it's a vital part

14:49 of our mental health and wellbeing workforce and will be increasingly so in the future

14:55 um because a well-supported lived experience workforce will deliver an improved system the improvements in service delivery

15:02 will result in benefits for people accessing services their families for service providers and the broader

15:08 community and as its own very specific and distinct discipline

15:14 lived experience work has its own values principles and theories

15:19 that define it and define that work and the way in which it is practiced and will be practiced

15:25 more and more in the future there is an incredible uniqueness to

15:30 lift experience roles roles because lived experience workers have unique knowledge

15:36 unique abilities unique attributes that hasn't always and those

15:41 abilities and attributes haven't always been used um as much in the mental

15:46 health health system in the past as they could have been lived experienced workers of course

15:52 drawing their own life-changing experiences of mental or emotional distress service use and their

15:58 journey of recovery and healing um to support others and of course having been through

16:04 the system they understand the critical need to create opportunities for connection and importantly use

16:10 their expertise to offer hope for people who are going through difficult times they build relationships based on a

16:17 collective understanding of shared experience self-determination and empowerment

16:23 and they provide an important resource for change

16:28 because every lived experience worker is a change agent supporting personal change

16:33 in service users and cult and uses and cultural and practice change in the service

16:40 itself because of course the theme of so much of this effort is about

16:45 listening to people with lived experience and embedding those experiences across our service

16:50 system um and the qualities of lived experience workers um exemplify uh why their work

16:57 needs to be supported and embedded as an integral part of the way that all mental

17:02 health services are delivered now the national lived experience workforce guidelines are intended to

17:09 strengthen the understanding and collaboration across the mental health and suicide prevention sector and beyond

17:15 contributing to better services and ultimately better outcomes for people who access those services

17:21 within the sector as well as their families their supporters and their communities

17:27 and we the government are very committed to work to working with the lived experience workforce um to implement

17:33 these guidelines because the mental health and wellbeing of australians is a very high national priority for the

17:40 government now through this year's budget we demonstrated that commitment through

17:46 very significant investment in strengthening uh the mental health and suicide prevention system

17:51 to with the investment of 2.3 billion dollars into the national mental health and suicide prevention

17:57 plan and that plan is about delivering a genuine shift in the national response

18:03 to person-centered mental health well-being and suicide prevention reform and it lays the foundations for moving

18:10 towards a much more integrated national system the plan of course has five pillars for

18:16 change that will help australia achieve systemic reform prevention and early intervention

18:22 suicide prevention treatment supporting the vulnerable and workforce and governance

18:28 and today i want to focus specifically on that fifth pillar workforce and governance and the 202 million dollar

18:35 commitment that we made in the budget now this commitment responds to the productivity commission report and also

18:42 the national suicide prevention advisors final advice recommendations

18:47 to government particularly as they pertain to the mental health workforce

18:52 the the recommendations recognize the importance of our gps psychiatrists psychologists nurses and our allied

19:00 health professionals but most importantly also recognizes and supports investment in the peer

19:06 workforce the mental health workforce and the wider health workforce

19:11 are the most critical component of australia's mental health system and this commitment ensures that our

19:18 mental health workforce is supported to provide compassionate safe care which is of course a critical enabler

19:25 for system and service reform and within the two hundred million two million dollars for workforce

19:30 development there's 58.8 million dollars to grow and upskill the mental health and

19:37 suicide prevention workforce and that includes our three million dollars to boost and support the mental

19:43 health peer workforce delivering up to 390 scholarships and opportunities for professional

19:49 collaboration also includes funding to conduct a scoping study to investigate options on improving

19:56 consumer and carer engagement more broadly in the mental health sector we're committed to expanding

20:03 strengthening upskilling and supporting the lived experience mental health workforce so that

20:09 that workforce may continue to deliver uh the services to those who need them and indeed to significantly expand

20:17 those services and we're committed to ensuring that lived experience is central to the

20:22 mental health and suicide prevention system and it's the voice after all i've lived

20:28 experience that is so important in guiding us on the journey that we're on

20:34 uh towards a more compassionate uh person-centered model of care in our

20:39 mental health and suicide prevention system so once again i want to thank everyone who's been involved

20:45 in providing their lived experience voice to help shape these guidelines um the steering committee the national

20:51 mental health commission for its tremendous dedication uh in this po in this project

20:57 and of course our peer workforce who are true leaders in our australian mental

21:04 health workforce and who um we look forward to seeing having a larger and larger role

21:10 in that workforce over time because the government is committed to ensuring that these guidelines will

21:17 have an enduring positive impact on how we work with people who experience mental ill health right across our

21:24 menstrual health and suicide prevention system so lindell and everyone who's involved today uh thank you again for uh

21:31 for all your work it's great to be here thank you assistant minister coleman

21:37 as lift experience voices are central to the national lived experience peer workforce development guidelines so too

21:44 are they central to today's launch as often in the is the case in many new initiatives it is helpful to see how

21:51 something has been put into practice to appreciate the journey the value and benefits of its contribution

21:58 we feel very privileged to share with you today a special video on the critical impact of the lived experience

22:04 workforce told through the lens of lived experience by viv a lived experience

22:09 employer joe a lived experience worker and amy a mother of two who accesses the

22:16 services of peachtree a peer-led organisation that provides perinatal mental health and wellbeing support

22:24 but thanks to the team at peachtree for creating this with us

22:36 [Music] peachtree was founded back in 2011 by

22:42 two mothers who had been through a profound and life-changing experience after they had their babies

22:49 and who noticed a gap in service delivery and wanted to do something about it over

22:55 the years we have worked hard to develop our service delivery model to promote

23:00 and advocate for our lived experience workers and as a consequence now we're

23:06 running a really successful and thriving organisation [Music]

23:12 we now have over 21 lived experience workers spread throughout our

23:17 organisation from peer support workers to team leaders to program managers right

23:24 through to management positions as a peer support worker i have

23:29 lived experience of perinatal mental health challenges i bring my experience

23:34 here and what i've learned is that that actually healing is possible

23:41 and that in being on a healing journey myself and being and acknowledging that

23:48 that that's possible for other people as well it's just

23:54 incredible you feel so understood because they've been there they've been

23:59 in the trenches they've felt those emotions they've also found out that it's not always a

24:05 fairy tale story going into motherhood so it was nice to feel heard to feel understood my mental health has vastly

24:12 improved through being connected with peachtree specifically and and also that lived experience

24:18 a peer support model i've built up the confidence as a mother to know that when things are going quite rough that i've

24:25 got this and i'm doing the best i can and that's enough

24:31 by investing in our lived experience workforce we have a staff who are best

24:36 placed in their own mental health and wellbeing who have the right skill sets who are

24:41 able to provide a safe and quality service if you're an organisation that is considering embedding lived

24:48 experience into your service delivery model it is so important that you work from a

24:54 trauma informed perspective and you have the necessary frameworks of support around your lived experience

25:00 workforce that is going to enable them to flourish the future of the lived experience workforce is incredibly

25:08 exciting at peachtree we are committed to continuing to provide opportunities

25:13 for our lived experience workers to thrive to grow and

25:19 increase their skills and work towards safety and quality

25:30 [Music]

25:40 thanks very much that was beautiful uh we're now going to have um a panel

25:46 discussion for about the next 20 minutes um and so i'm delighted now to introduce

25:52 our four panelists i would also encourage everybody um

25:57 if you have any questions that do come up from this conversation we're about to have to to feel free and put them in the

26:04 questions and answers we will be compiling all of those and providing some answers um later on

26:10 so now it's my honor to introduce four colleagues um the first person is uh tim

26:15 heffernan many of you will know tim he was obviously the deputy co-chair

26:22 for the development of these workforce development guidelines but of course he comes from a very very

26:28 strong peer lift experience workforce background he's a deputy commissioner with the new south wales mental health

26:34 commission and works as the mental health peer coordinator with coordinator in sydney

26:39 previously tim has worked for more than a decade as a peer worker uh he's currently

26:46 also this is quite an important initiative of the commission as well and it's a good opportunity to highlight it um he is

26:53 co-chair of the steering committee for the national mental health commission's stigma reduction strategy i think that's

26:59 a vital piece of work that's underway as well the next person i'm going to introduce

27:04 is paula arrow again many of you will know paula she's the lift experience engagement

27:10 coordinator for mental health suicide prevention alcohol and other drugs program in brisbane north phn

27:17 she has a lived experience herself with mental health and aod both as a consumer and a carer and she's currently employed

27:23 by the phn as an identified designated peer role uh to develop the capacity and

27:29 support opportunities for people with the lived experience to actively participate in mental health and alcohol

27:34 and other drug reforms and i'm delighted i'm watching the participants and i can see that there are quite a few people

27:39 here from various phns around the country so paula's role was also established to build the capacity of the phn to embed

27:46 lift experience engagement in all aspects of the phn's commissioning process including working with funded services

27:53 to ensure this occurs along with establishing a regional framework for engagement with people

27:59 with a lived experience and the peer participation in mental health services network her role has also been expanded

28:05 to chair and provides secretariat to support to the national phn mental health lived experience engagement next

28:12 network or moline who is currently doing some exciting work with the national mental health

28:17 consumer and carer forum as well i'm also going to introduce

28:24 leilani darwin who's familiar again to many of you she's director of aboriginal and torres

28:29 strait islander strategy at the newly established black dog institute uh lived experience network uh she has joined the

28:37 executive leadership team to drive the work and um that they are doing to be a trusted partner

28:43 to aboriginal and torres strait islander community social and emotional well-being to address suicide prevention

28:49 and mental health leilani is already well known to the sector as i said for her work and leadership in suicide

28:55 prevention and mental health she is a powerful advocate for aboriginal and torres strait islander-led culturally informed

29:01 practices within mainstream services this has been built from her own personal lift experience of losing many

29:07 loved ones to suicide and her own mental ill health living with depression anxiety and

29:13 suicidality leilani navigates workplace obligations and her own well-being

29:20 finally i'm delighted to introduce megan still who is an occupational therapist by trade and the service planning and

29:27 innovation manager in sydney's local health district she's currently employed as the service

29:32 planning and innovation manager for the sydney local health district and megan works with consumers carers clinicians

29:39 and managers to help create mental health services that are built around the consumer experience

29:44 that enable people to exercise choice and are supported to realise their recovery goals and regain citizenship

29:50 megan tirelessly supports the development of the mental health peer support workforce her input has enabled the senior peer

29:57 worker role to be created and integrated into the mental health executive team she is a vocal champion for all types of

30:04 feedback on the consumer experience of service megan will not accept political tokenism but will argue for proper consultation

30:11 and true co-design couldn't think of a better person to be on this panel so tim i'm going to go to you first

30:19 we've allowed about um just so people know we've got about 20 or so minutes for this conversation um so we've

30:25 roughly roughly allowed about five minutes each for each of the panelists so tim and this is a question i know

30:32 that you're probably one of the people in australia best equipped to answer it's a question about recovery uh which

30:39 of course we know is something that um is a concept that was championed and pioneered by the lift

30:45 experience movement to which you're intimately connected and i'm just inviting you to reflect on

30:51 um the how you see the guidelines and the work of the lived experience workforce

30:57 uh in promoting more recovery oriented approaches you know this does represent a shift a

31:03 significant paradigm shift from a pathologising lens to a to a

31:08 rights-based recovery lens so i wonder if you could just reflect on what you think um how you think these guidelines

31:15 might promote this kind of approach thanks carrie and

31:21 thank you everyone for attending today um this is a big question and it's a

31:26 fluid question i think in a lot of ways um i think we have to understand i think that she

31:34 mentioned before kerry those people who are not here and and you know not everybody believes

31:40 that uh people um need to recover i think we're probably moving to to

31:48 to a system that is based around relationships and growth and

31:54 it is based on the worth of the human being from whatever perspective they come from and and however they they

32:01 choose to to live in their community and it's about supporting people to to realize who who they are or or giving

32:09 them the environment to to realize who they are and so in a way that's where the

32:14 recovery oriented services that that um wonderful work that leon craze dr leon

32:20 craze did around the guidelines you know i think it is important to have environments that promote

32:25 that therapeutic growth that um that that space for people to be people you

32:33 know the big thing about coming into this work and and work on the steering committee and just being involved

32:40 in this are the relation the relationships that that we've been able to form that i've

32:45 been able to come into a room full of full of people i know who i trust who i understand i can work

32:53 with who will promote my own individual well-being and we need to be working

32:59 working towards that sort of um that sort of system so i see like mental health here work and like

33:06 we're we're an echo system we're all part of this we breathe the same oxygen

33:12 we tread on the same ground we tread on um the ancient um and um beautiful ground

33:20 that we've um we're living on that that steve um acknowledged before and i acknowledge

33:26 all also all the other um aboriginal people and torah straight out of the people here today

33:33 especially eleni who's going to speak soon but um i'm probably

33:39 you know i think this is the realization of a well it's not the realizations to start

33:44 because we have to do this at scale this is this is a challenge if we re remain

33:50 the small workforce that we have that we still are we're not going to

33:57 fix that ecosystem fix the systems that have been broken allow the individual to

34:03 to to meet their potential when we're not going to allow services to to become

34:10 those truly compassionate therapeutic services that people need so you know it is about scale and i

34:17 think guidelines like this this one and i'll have to put it in a plug that was a

34:22 trouble about the southeastern new south wales p workforce framework and also the queensland framework you know we're

34:28 building the the structures that will allow our peer work to grow i had

34:34 you know i had the privilege to watch some videos of um that being which is the state uh peak here in new south

34:41 wales set out yesterday from the the statewide uh peer workforce forum

34:46 and and while i couldn't attend that to be able to come back and look at at the passion and

34:52 um the the vision of of people who who i've worked with when i was with the um

34:59 state public with with the ill or shall have a local health district just to see

35:05 to see the power that um pure work has we

35:10 must recognize that this is you know and we've had it and we haven't

35:16 been saying it the the people in charge have been saying that we are in

35:22 places of broken systems we've got the productivity commission we've got the royal commission we've recently had the

35:28 um joint the parliamentary committee commenting on on on the brokenness of

35:34 our mental health systems people with lived experience are the

35:39 people who can fix that and the lived experience workforce

35:44 is the essential part of that that takes it from being

35:49 that by my biomedical lens that hasn't lived up to all the hype

35:57 and brings it to a a um an ecosystem a restoration of the balance in our

36:04 lives and in the systems that comes from lived experience that comes from relationships

36:10 so i'm i'm not sure if that answers your question it's beautiful tim thank you absolutely beautiful and i

36:16 just wanted to pick up on a couple of things that you mentioned that i think are so important one was the issue of

36:21 scale um and i from from my perspective i think we've lived so long with the

36:26 dynamic of scarcity around lived experience and what does excite me of course is that um

36:32 as we move into um a period of growth and scale as you've talked about that potential for system transformation i

36:38 think is enormous and i i would also just um from my perspective i think

36:43 the system's not broken i think it's it was designed that way

36:48 it's actually working as it was designed and unfortunately um the design process probably wasn't didn't include people

36:55 with lived experience and i i think one of the key elements about this guidelines is that it does provide that

37:00 opportunity for system redesign to and i'm really enjoying the comments that

37:05 are coming through in the chats as well talking about the fact that you know this is a broken system and we we move

37:12 into this era of understanding the social determinants and what's required in terms of

37:18 structural competency in our workforce and understanding those drivers and i think that's something that the lived

37:23 experience workforce can do so well i think tim um i i just want to put a plug in here or

37:30 just to get your perspective on the family lived experience workforce as well of course which these guidelines um

37:37 introduce and and what what you see and for me i think there's enormous potential in the alignment of a family

37:44 carer lived experience workforce working alongside a consumer personal lift experience workforce do

37:50 you do you have any thoughts on that oh yeah yeah um i think uh you know it's critical and

37:57 it's all about it's about um that perspective that we bring to our

38:02 work and the people that we're working with um so often we we have used previously

38:08 consumer and carer as as the terms that would uh designate where we're coming from

38:14 and and you know into the mix i appreciate we have a whole lot of people who who have experience of both who have

38:21 experience of caring and who have experience of being a consumer

38:26 so or a person with personal lived experience is the language that we're using in in the guidelines

38:33 so um you know i think we need to be clear when we're working

38:40 what what what experiences we're bringing what lived experience we're bringing and you can never

38:46 take out the bits of you that are there you know that's ridiculous but you you need to be

38:51 focusing i think on on where you are so i have had

38:58 you know very rich um partnerships working with carers and and from that

39:03 consumer lived experience perspective and have often

39:08 um then borrowed or or learnt a great deal from

39:13 from the carers there and you know essentially though the the

39:19 carer p workforce are probably in terms of numbers much less

39:26 than than in consumer peer workforce but play incredibly vital roles in

39:33 helping other people who have their loved ones who may have a

39:38 mental health issue or a breakthrough in their life that

39:43 they're working through that that could support them to navigate where are what are complex

39:49 difficult and still very hostile often

39:54 systems that we have to work through you know and both of us can work to change those

39:59 systems to make them more compassionate and and so we can partner very effectively um i think yeah

40:07 thanks thanks tim absolutely and in in the interests of time i will move on but it's a

40:13 delightful segue um the concept of partnering um i think to our next panelist megan and we know that this is

40:20 essentially a change management exercise on a grand scale and of course that does require partnerships and and a change

40:27 readiness um in organizations and so megan i'm going to invite you now

40:33 to talk about um from an employer and organisational perspective this is a huge part of the guidelines we've had

40:39 certainly had a history in the peer workforce uh movement of um having people working in

40:44 organizations that are not ready um for them and it's been quite traumatic for many people and i think we should acknowledge that and that's why i think

40:50 these guidelines are so important so megan i wonder if you could just speak to how you would want uh employers to

40:56 use the guidelines and what are you hoping that they can take from the guidelines

41:03 yeah you're correct that the history of employment of the lived workforce

41:08 has been a fractious one at times and has really hurt some people just before answering i want to just

41:15 shout out to everyone who's online the joy that's exploding out of that chat is

41:20 very distracting and is so good to see people are so excited about this

41:26 um i would like to see employers using the guidelines as their primary reference point for guiding practice and

41:32 implementing and developing their lived experience workforce we've had first of all consumer

41:38 consultants and have now a strong lived experience workforce for many decades in

41:43 my health district and i take away some things from these guidelines that i think we could use in our own service to

41:49 develop even further the guidelines are easy to read they're easy to navigate

41:54 it's a very intuitive document and it clearly articulates lived experience work that people do

42:01 does a really good job of describing the similarities and differences in consumer and carer roles um if you're looking at

42:07 developing either or and there's a clear description of what's involved in lived experience work as well which helps to

42:14 set the groundwork for what you might be dipping into there's good practical guidance on roles

42:19 on training on human resourcing issues and some links to some sensational resources so if employers read things

42:26 that they're unsure about you can follow the links and find further information that's really helpful

42:32 a really key strength of these guidelines is the structure that they provide

42:37 services so if you're dipping into your first lived experience position or if you're

42:43 well established and have a good workforce and wanting to develop them even further there's a good spectrum of

42:49 opportunities in the guidelines to help you understand where you might need to start and i'm particularly fond of the neat

42:55 focus on integrating roles into policy and service reform i think that's a really nice above and beyond development

43:02 in these guidelines that everyone should take on board from the very early point

43:07 so the other thing that's really important is that the guidelines have some good instruction on preparing the

43:12 rest of your workforce and how to prepare um teams and systems in order to work with the lived experience workforce

43:19 and this idea of champions or allyship is really important in order to create

43:25 space for lived experience workers to really be able to do do their thing

43:31 uh as the companion documents come on board there'll be even more detail in there if you're wanting to develop more

43:38 specific and structured positions so what i'd like to see employers take from this is some real optimism about how

43:45 achievable this is this is not an impossible or difficult task it just takes a bit of thinking through

43:51 and first step for everyone is just familiarize yourself with the documents they're not hard to read it's not

43:57 complicated you could do a reading group there's many ways that one could sit down and

44:03 look and go through the material and understand it but if you all get a shared understanding at your workplace on what this means then the step towards

44:11 implementation will be a bit easier brilliant thanks megan you did an

44:16 amazing job of pulling so much into such a short period of time and i really

44:22 really like your emphasis on the fact that this is a tangible usable document we've you know gone out of our way to

44:28 say this is these are guidelines um and the the important part of course as we know is that is the bit where the

44:34 action part of it one of the um significant pioneers in the lived experience movement ron coleman often

44:41 talks about the fact that miracles never happen unless action is taken and i think um you know this is the part

44:47 where the rubber hits the road and so i i think you've done a great job of talking about exactly how accessible and

44:53 usable this document is thank you thank you thank you

44:58 okay now we're going to move along to uh paula

45:03 who um we've given her the the task of describing from a national

45:09 and local system level implementation how these guidelines might be used so

45:14 because um paula works in phn space and they are key uh to commissioning primary mental

45:20 health services at the local level and nationally we're thinking that this is a great

45:25 opportunity paula for you to talk about how you think these guidelines will help phns in particular

45:31 uh to commission services to ensure that their lived experience leaders and advisors play a vital role in the mental

45:37 health and suicide prevention systems and i think phns in particular you know we can talk here um more broadly about

45:44 both mental health suicide prevention and of course aod as well so um paula

45:51 i'm going to now throw to you and just ask you to talk a little bit about it from your perspective thanks

46:04 uh paula i'm wondering if i'm going to ha after those dreadful words you're on mute um

46:10 mike can you hear quite a few people that would be fine with that sorry about that

46:15 so i get to start again okay so i'll get the nice easy one but um

46:22 firstly i would just like to congratulate the commission um not only for the development of these guidelines

46:28 but the work that they've done with the consumer and carer stuff with the safety and quality and engagement and those

46:34 sorts of things and also um stepping up and actually walking the talk with the

46:39 creation of um carrie's position a director of lived experience um

46:45 i think um this you know when we when we talk about lived

46:51 experience workforce and peer workforce there's a tendency for people to think

46:56 of peer workers and that one-to-one um direct service delivery but when

47:02 we're talking about systemic change and those sorts of things we really need

47:08 to make sure that we've got lived experience representations you

47:13 know around the table as equal partners so um so i guess

47:19 if we just take a step back in a little bit um so back in

47:24 phns there's 31 of them around australia and they're tasked with um working on

47:32 not only the commissioning of services but um supporting the integration and

47:37 you know um no one misses out type

47:43 work that they um they're able to do at a regional level

47:48 and in 2016 uh the phns are actually tasked with commissioning all of the

47:54 mental health alcohol and other drug and suicide prevention federal funding which was

47:59 quite a big task what also came out at that time was guidelines guidance materials for you

48:06 know step care suicide prevention how they were to use the money for that but also a set of guidelines on consumer and

48:13 care engagement stating that um phns had to embed um

48:18 consumer and care engagement into uh the commissioning cycle and all of the works work that they do

48:25 um skip forward to 2017 so phns had to develop regional plans

48:32 and um and um i know just from my experience working with my own phn and we were

48:39 talking about you know how we get these guidelines implemented and megan was talking about

48:45 it but but the secret really is and if you go back to some of uh louise's dr

48:51 louise burns research some of the keys key things that need to happen is that

48:57 there needs to be executive level support and commitment if you don't have that

49:02 and you're in an identified lived experience role like mine you're banging your head against a brick wall so that

49:07 that's actually the starting point so um i think that with you know piece of work that we have to do straight up is

49:14 to really be showcasing um where it is working that you know megan's organization for example the

49:21 fabulous viv and peach tree um you know and i actually would just like to say that um

49:28 peach actually was a purely voluntary organization and a little plug for brisbane north phn but

49:35 we actually were able to provide some lead site or innovation funding to um

49:42 peachtree to build that evidence base for their program and they're now just going you know

49:48 it's just amazing where that's gone um i think too

49:56 in the regional planning process um phns were realizing that they really

50:01 you know yes they may want to engage but didn't quite know how to and um at one of the biannual meetings

50:09 of all the phns around australia um two of the four key priority areas

50:15 that came up was you know how do we better engage with people with the lived experience and how do you know what is

50:21 this work for lived experience workforce what does it mean and all of that um

50:26 and so then in 2018 the department actually um said that well look we need you know the

50:33 phns need some support and um and so what they did was um

50:38 funded the establishment of the national phn mental health lived experience engagement network um in 2018

50:46 2019 they released some peer workforce guidance material um and said in there that um once these

50:54 peer workforce development guidelines were developed we were to implement them so phns while we had some guidance

51:02 material back in 2019 it was things like developing and understanding of policies and programs

51:10 employment conditions um how to develop the peer workforce you know what are some models of practice

51:16 what do we do about peer supervision um what do we how do we ensure that there's appropriate supports for not only the

51:24 lived experience workforce but the organizations and all of these sorts of things but there wasn't anything really

51:30 around to how to um in 2019 uh we were fortunate enough in

51:37 queensland to um well there was a few of us and i'd like to acknowledge the fabulous work of

51:42 brook red and peachtree as totally peer-led peer-run organizations

51:48 along with a few of us in identified positions where we nagged our commission and you know brought

51:55 forward the research that um louise and her team had been progressively undertaking and said well look here's

52:03 this is what needs to happen so we actually went through a process of developing the queensland framework in

52:09 2019 which actually gave us that um

52:14 sense of we all know what we're talking about we're talking about the same language and i think that's the importance of

52:20 some of these guidelines particularly when we're talking nationally you know what what what do these roles look like

52:27 um what sorts of roles should a lived experience um

52:32 um what sort of workplace do we need to ensure that um the lived experience

52:38 workforce is you know safe and that they're you know able to offer quality services

52:45 um you know how can we ensure that you know just because i have an identified

52:51 lived experience with mental health doesn't mean that i'm the best person to say support a young male um

52:57 [Music] aboriginal boy for example so um you know

53:05 you know how do we ensure we um we look at the diversity and um

53:11 you know and make sure that we've got the um specializations and i think the

53:17 guidelines really dig a bit deeper into that as well the hr stuff um you know

53:24 well i think you know organizations just need good hr practices and then everyone should be fine

53:30 but things like understanding and really committing to things like reasonable adjustment are really important

53:37 um i i love the fact that the guidelines also and i did get a sneak preview so

53:43 that's one i'm saying this but um but look it um it's structured around from

53:49 commitment to co-production which is i think really useful because

53:54 um i know that there's a lot of us that have been slogging away at us i know tim

53:59 uh when we started moline back in 2018 i think you and i were the only people from the phn

54:07 identified lived experience roles um you know swing forward three years later i

54:13 think we're getting close to a third of phns but but these c words that get

54:18 thrown around um and not not the naughty one and not the

54:23 um infectious vaccine one but um commitment

54:30 culture co-design co-production um you know how do we general genuinely do this

54:37 and um i don't we need to wind up now but i a big plug to the um national

54:44 mental health consumer care and carer forum because we've molina's recently formalized a

54:50 partnership because we we want to work and really

54:56 demonstrate this co-production so we're working on some leadership projects because to kick all

55:02 of this off we need leaders not only in the lived experience space but also

55:08 in the broader systemic space so i hope yeah that's brilliant paula as always

55:14 you did a brilliant job and you highlighted i think the fact that the guidelines are hitting the ground running there are amazing pockets of

55:20 work happening at the phn level and happening in each of the state jurisdictions as well that will support

55:25 this work in the interest of time we do have to move on i just wanted to let everybody know we will go over by about five

55:32 minutes today i hope that's okay and apologies uh i'd now like to introduce our final

55:38 panelist leilani um and paula you touched on several

55:43 times in your talk there about the importance of research in in terms of

55:48 underpinning the priorities and the recommendations that come through in these guidelines and i think like leilani i'm

55:55 particularly interested of course to hear um from your perspective as well in in relation to aboriginal and torres

56:00 strait islander communities as well what the research is telling us in relation to these priorities that have

56:07 come through in the guidelines and certainly any any of your other observations um so leilani over to you

56:14 gary um yeah i mean it's it's quite interesting to watch this journey and and i've been quite privileged to work

56:21 with um louise and the team and um be part of the development uh of the

56:27 queensland um framework and now this one and actually just wanted to start off quickly with acknowledging all of the

56:33 team um who have been involved in the development of this piece of work which we're so grateful that the commission

56:39 has led and the steering committee as well so lena wang helena roenfeldt um

56:46 melissa chapman holistic castles leanne craigs and mark saunders i think if

56:52 there's one thing that's really clear about this is that it is a collective effort and it's really important that we

56:58 bring as many people as we can on this journey together to inform and better understand that um i you know that's

57:05 reflected in in how this was developed um through a genuine co-design process with nearly 800 people engaged over a

57:13 long period of time in different um channels and methodologies of engagement that suited

57:19 to ensure we could get that diversity um interestingly enough what's come through

57:24 there and has really kind of come from a 12 plus years worth of work of um dr

57:30 burn has been exploring lots of different facets of understanding this you know the use of language and

57:37 terminology don't we all just love how we get on those little points and it can be an hour-long conversation

57:43 um what are the similarities between the different roles and hats that we wear so kind of looking and understanding

57:48 consumer um you know personal family and carer responsibilities how they can

57:54 overlap and sometimes we do wear multiple hats so how does that actually work in in these roles and in the

58:00 workforce um and understanding the values that sit behind that and i think that's a really interesting thing for

58:06 organizations in particular to consider moving forward part of the success of

58:11 this from my perspective will be what do we actually do to ensure that we're resourcing up that we're elevating and

58:18 we're embedding the recommendations of these guidelines and many other really useful documents which i've seen being

58:25 shared thick and fast in the chat which is really helpful um because it's it's it's about how does

58:33 this actually come into practice now how do we support everyone um and and i

58:38 think to your point to carry on we've got so many people who are still kind of alone in their journey in their

58:44 workplace and and don't necessarily have a lot of support and we've got people who are really involved in the movement

58:50 and our our beautiful beautiful souls that we've lost and those that are still with us but i've been there from the beginning

58:55 really fighting and advocating for this change and inclusion um the work of christine morgan and the commission uh

59:02 in elevating this and all of the research and evaluation that was undertaken in her role as adviser to the

59:08 prime minister has led to a massive shift i think in the sector at the moment what we need to

59:14 be able to do is move this into action and ensure that we're including

59:19 opportunities to do evaluation around what i foresee even with fantastic

59:25 guidelines and accompanying documents probably some challenges challenges to

59:30 shift culture within organizations and structures that just probably aren't ready to

59:37 to really take take on what's been recommended even though we've got it here and i know that there are so many

59:42 of us that you know are excited and have this availability now to

59:48 to bring something to the front to share with our workplaces and within organizations around this is what needs

59:54 to be put in place having said that too and i guess just to close i i wanted to just highlight the

1:00:00 importance of um leadership and cultural practices and

1:00:06 governance and guidance in the work that we do uh you know you'll note in the document

1:00:11 right up front that there's an acknowledgement of the different uh lived experience definition that was

1:00:17 developed by the aboriginal and torres strait islander lived experience center at the black dog institute and released last year

1:00:22 it is different for us and there's lots of things that we um you know

1:00:28 have in play that that complicates our journey and and history uh still

1:00:35 comes out to play for us in this day and age and all the work that's happening and being led by nacho and other

1:00:41 agencies and pat turner and closing the gap means that i guess it's important for me

1:00:46 to remind you all that even through the development of this and through the work that comes forward it's

1:00:52 imperative that you include aboriginal and torres strait islander people in this i also encourage you to understand that

1:00:59 the leadership role that we have at the lived experience center is really important and we've got an incredible

1:01:05 group there reach out see what opportunities there are for connection doing a lot of stuff in the research and

1:01:11 evaluation space and i think just just one more hint thinking outside the

1:01:17 square of i guess the realm of which to space an area that you work in look where you can co-collaborate learn from

1:01:23 others who have done it a lot of those services and agencies report brook red flourish

1:01:29 um you know peach tree and many others have done this already so let's work together to

1:01:34 bridge that gap thank you thanks leilani and what a brilliant point to um to end the panel on

1:01:41 absolutely there is work already happening we have to work together it's a values-based piece of work that

1:01:48 we're doing and it's just much more efficient if we can build on the work that everybody else is doing

1:01:54 and i think also your point around the importance of culture and intersectionality and intergenerational

1:02:00 trauma are absolutely critical and i'm watching the chat as you're talking noting that there's lots of resonance

1:02:06 around what you're saying so lindell thank you very much and over to you to wrap up

1:02:13 wonderful thanks so much kerrian thanks to all of our panel members there that was just an amazing session

1:02:19 that concludes today's launch so thank you to everyone in attendance and once again thank you to our lived experience

1:02:25 workforce for your compassion commitment and leadership it is through your important work and the guidance you have provided in the

1:02:32 creation of the guidelines that we will achieve better outcomes for people accessing mental health and wellbeing

1:02:37 services their families and their communities thank you i would also like to say thank you to

1:02:43 those who helped put this launch together today including jenny muir and her team from the commission

1:02:49 the guidelines are on the commission's website and we encourage you to download share and consider putting them into practice in your community and

1:02:55 organizational settings you'll also find a stakeholder kit that can help you promote the guides if that's useful for

1:03:02 you please also register to receive updated information from the commission on the website as well

1:03:08 we will be working on the next favorite phase of this project and we'll be publishing these additional components

1:03:13 over the coming months thank you everyone bye

Resource published:
  • Lived experience

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 and present, 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.