Strengthen and diversify the collective voice of people with a lived experience in order to drive service improvements
Continue to support the PPIMS Network to expand and build an independent and diverse voice
The Peer Participation in Mental Health Services (PPIMS) Network originated in April 2016 and has continue to grow and mature as an independent central point for the Brisbane North Mental Health services and systems. It has recently celebrated three years of having an active voice and leading change.
The Network has worked to identify and subsequently address the capacity-building needs of people with a lived experience of mental illness, including supporting people to access training or other supports, or acquire recognised skills, such as:
- Certificate IV in Mental Health Peer Work
- Mental Health First Aid, and Mental Health First Aid Young People
- Voices for Change (Public Speaking – sharing your story with purpose) training and establishing a speakers bureau
- Communities of Practice established for Peer Workers
- Launching Pad Training to build capacity for involvement in committees and other representative roles
- Regular communications, emails and updates for PPIMS network members to stay up to date.
Engaging in training and acquiring recognised skills has facilitated the growth of people with lived experience holding representative roles, or being employed in identified roles. A number of PPIMS Network members now hold representative positions on Governance groups responsible for supporting implementation of Planning for Wellbeing. Some Network members have since been employed as peer workers, and others have committed to undertaking further study. A small number of Network members now sit on state and/or national strategic committees.
Many people with a lived experience of mental illness feel strongly about the need for people with lived experience to be involved in all aspects of the mental health system – from the design of services, implementation, review, as well as planning for future services. Having a central place, such as the PPIMS Network, not only supports people to understand the mental health system, but also assists people to identify ways to authentically engage and get involved, with some instances leading to employed positions. This requires a strong commitment and culture at all levels of an organisation to effectively engage people with a lived experience, and support and build the capacity of both people with a lived experience, as well as staff within organisations.
Continuing to grow and build the independence of the PPIMS Network through developing governance and engagement strategies remains a priority. Sharing learnings with and between other regions about what works and what doesn’t will assist in building future models for authentic engagement, as well as researching and further developing the capacity of organisations to have the necessary systems and culture in place to embed people with lived experience in all that they do.