Strengthen and diversify the collective voice of people with a lived experience in order to drive service improvements
Action 1.1.2 & 1.5.3
Contribute to building a state-wide and national network of people with a lived experience through peak body and advocacy work;
Co-design and implement a peer workforce development strategy with relevant stakeholders and employers as part of the region’s wider workforce needs assessment and development strategies.
With no peak body advocating for the lived experience workforce, representatives from the PPIMS Network alongside a number of other key mental health organisations worked together to host a one-day workshop for lived experience leaders across Queensland to discuss research findings regarding lived experience workforce development and consider implications for the State.
Following this event, the lived experience leaders prepared a position paper for the Queensland Mental Health Commission, outlining recommendations for lived experience workforce development. Further negotiations lead to the commitment to development a Framework to support implementation of the recommendations.
The Queensland Mental Health Commission engaged researchers at RMIT University to develop the Queensland Framework for the Development of the Mental Health Lived Experience Workforce . The Framework and associated documents serve as a toolkit for embedding people with lived experience of mental illness into public, private and NGO workplaces.
The framework builds on evidence that suggests employing people who have experienced mental health issues – as peer workers, or lived experience workers – can contribute to positive outcomes for people with mental illness and potentially reduces costs for mental health services.
Defining the lived experience workforce, and determining the guidelines and frameworks that are needed to support it, must be informed by people with a lived experience.
Strategic partnerships with key agencies, such as Queensland Mental Health Commission and Queensland Health, have assisted with development of the Lived Experience Framework, and also support improved awareness, culture and commitment.
Now that the Queensland Framework for the Development of the Mental Health Lived Experience Workforce exists, promotion and implementation are the priority. The newly formed Queensland Lived Experience Workforce Network (QLEWN) requires resourcing to undertake this work.