Authors: Louise Howe, Wilhelmina Brown & Emily Unity
Event: 2023 The MHS conference - Adelaide
Subject: S24: Lived Experience Workforce 2
Type of resource: Conference Presentations and Papers
Presentation 1: Side by Side: Supporting the Lived Experience workforce as a discipline in its own right.
Author: Louise Howe
Lived Experience (Peer) workers are the evidence recovery is real. The time to understand and acknowledge their unique place in the mental health sector has come. A thriving mental health peer workforce is now considered a vital component of quality, recovery-focused mental health services at both national, state and local levels.
The National Lived Experience (Peer) Workforce Development Guidelines were released in late 2021 with WA Lived Experience (Peer) Workforce Framework released nearly a year later. If the National Guidelines are the car manual, then the WA Framework is how to drive the car.
The presentation will share the collaborative approach in developing the WA Framework for the mental health, alcohol and other drug and suicide prevention sectors. It will include an understanding of the co-designed contents and how they can be practically applied. Initiatives to support the WA Framework are well underway including a dedicated Implementation Team, funding for peer roles, scholarships, peer supervision training and organisational development, Aboriginal lived experience and peer worker handbooks.
The differences between the WA and National document will be outlined as well as how they dove tail together to provide a sector and organisational level guidance to developing a thriving peer workforce.
1. Supporting Lived Experience Peer Work as a discipline in its own right.
2. The role of the Lived Experience Peer workforce continues to be recognised as an important role to support the consumer, carer, family or significant other in their journey of recovery/wellbeing.
o Byrne, L., Wang, L., Roennfeldt, H., Chapman, M., Darwin, L., Castles, C., Craze, L., Saunders, M. National Lived Experience Workforce Guidelines. 2021, National Mental Health Commission.
o The Western Australian Lived Experience (Peer) Workforces Framework. 2022, Western Australian Mental Health Commission.
Presentation 2: Listening to everyone. Reflecting on the implementation of our regional plan.
Author: Wilhelmina Brown
The Central and Eastern Sydney Regional Mental Health and Suicide Prevention Plan was implemented from October 2019 to June 30, 2022, in response to the Fifth National Mental Health and Suicide Prevention Plan's expectation to develop joint regional mental health and suicide prevention plans by Primary Health Networks, Local Health Districts, and Speciality Health Networks.
In late 2022, an implementation evaluation was conducted using several data sources, including a focus group. The focus group was conducted with the eight members of the Implementation Committee representing a broad cross-section of the sector including primary care providers, secondary care providers, peak bodies, PHN delegates, and lived experienced representatives from a consumer and carer background.
The focus group was conducted through a semi-structured workshop, and supplementary interviews were held with individuals to clarify any discussion points as required. Inductive thematic analysis was used to identify key themes present in the data (Thomas 2006, 238).
The evaluation's strength was the ability to facilitate the voices of consumers, carers, and service providers. These insights will ensure future service planning activities embed the rights of consumers, carers, and the workforce.
Understanding how qualitative and quantitative data were used in the evaluation of the implementation of the Central and Eastern Sydney Regional Mental Health and Suicide Prevention Plan with a focus on capturing the voices of consumers, carers, and service providers.
Thomas, D. R. (2006). A General Inductive Approach for Analyzing Qualitative Evaluation Data. American Journal of Evaluation, 27, 237-246.
Central and Eastern Sydney Mental Health and Suicide Prevention Regional Plan (2022). Central and Eastern Sydney Mental Health and Suicide Prevention Regional Plan: Implementation Report. Sydney: CESPHN.
Presentation 3: Royal Children's Lived Experience Advisor Network: Establishing a network of over 1500 Lived Experience Advisors.
Author: Emily Unity
We believe that people with lived and living experiences of mental health challenges and recovery have a fundamental human right to be involved in decision making that affects them.
At the Royal Children’s Hospital, a strategy was developed to ensure the collaborative, consistent, remunerated, and supported engagement of people who are interested in sharing their lived and living experiences to improve mental health services. This involved the establishment of a Lived Experience Advisor Network (the Network).
The Network now consists of over 1500 Lived Experience Advisors (LEAs) with a diverse range of lived and living experience areas and intersectionalities, including:
• Young People (56%)
• Personal Lived & Living Experiences (87%)
• Carer Experiences (48%)
• LGBTQIA+ (26%)
• Multicultural (24%)
• Disabled (25%)
• Rural / Regional (19%)
In the first four months of engagement, the Network has facilitated over 3000 applications for LLEx Opportunities across the Strategy.
The feedback has been overwhelmingly positive, from both Lived Experience Advisors (“This opportunity has opened a door to genuine two-way conversation”) and Staff alike (“Great opportunity to remind ourselves that we are all complex humans. As staff we don't often share these insights due to work / time limitations or boundaries or a bit of both.”)
1. People with lived and living experiences have a fundamental human right to be involved in decision making that affects them.
2. Mental health services have a responsibility to centre people with lived and living experiences in the design, development, implementation, and evaluation of systems and services.