Authors: Kyp Boucher and Sandra Miller, SA
Event: 2008 TheMHS Conference
Subject: psychosocial rehabilitation, Life Without Barriers, Peer Worker Workforce, CONSUMER ROLES, ADVOCACY,EMPLOYMENT,PROMOTION OF MENTAL HEALTH
Type of resource: Conference Presentations and Papers
Abstract: Life Without Barriers (LWB) provides community based psychosocial rehabilitation support services. Our Community Peer Worker Program supports our belief in the value of the ‘lived experience’, our conviction that we have a responsibility to reduce the stigma of mental illness and to advocate for consumers within and external to our organisation. The Peer Workers instil hope in recovery for our workers and consumers, give Life Without Barriers a road map to use the lived experience in all aspects of our service, assist in reducing the stigma of mental illness, and increase the community’s capacity to support people with a mental illness. This paper will share how our Peer Workers’ involvement in our consumer satisfaction survey, policy, quality, planning and evaluation, incident review, recruitment and induction, promotion, and providing consultation and information to differing levels and functions within LWB has increased our depth and understanding of the barriers and challenges people with a mental illness face. We have a greater understanding of what consumers experience, an awareness of the language we use, and new approaches and insights into supporting people beyond that which is taught in training or textbooks. We’d like to give you an opportunity to consider your own consumer inspired road map.