Authors: Brett Stevens, Karalee Busniak, Lara Kruizinga
Event: 2019 TheMHS Conference
Subject: Empowers Peers to Thrive: Building a Community of Lived Experience Workers in the Brisbane South Region
Type of resource: Conference Presentations and Papers
Brett has over 20 years direct experience in the development, implementation and evaluation of Health, Education, Support, and Community Engagement initiatives including LGBTIQ Health, Sexual Health and Mental Health.
Karalee works for Footprints Brisbane as a Group Lead Peer Support Worker. She is passionate about peer support work and believes that lived experience workers are a crucial part of the mental health sector. She believes in using her lived experience in an intentional way to bring hope to people and show that there is life beyond the dark.
Lara commenced paid and unpaid work in the HIV Sector around 2002, with a focus on advocacy and women. She has held representative positions at State and National levels; on the Board of Qld Positive People, and as a member of Femfatales – the National Network of Women Living with HIV. Lara commenced work in 2017 in Qld Positive People’s new Peer Navigator Program – a role she enjoys immensely.
Australia’s mental health system is undergoing a period of reform at a National, State and local level. As the mental health system transitions, it is important to ensure services are best placed to respond to changing needs. Mental health services and community organisations must seek a better understanding of consumers experiences in order to design and develop services that better meet their needs.
The Fifth National Mental Health and Suicide Prevention Plan 2017-2022 commits to a nationally agreed set of priority areas and actions, designed to achieve a stronger, more transparent, accountable and effective mental health system.(1). PHNs alongside Hospital and Health Services are identified as driving effective service integration at a regional level and work towards achieving core actions outlined in the Plan. Fundamental to this approach is placement of consumers at the centre of how services are planned, delivered and evaluated.
In working towards delivering these outcomes, the presentation will profile the establishment of a Community of Practice to engage with peer workers, and workers with a lived experience within our region. The Community of Practice focussed on how Brisbane South PHN can build the capacity and expertise of practice through strengthening partnerships to support Peer Workforce Development.
Learning Objective 1: Provide an overview of the project and proposed framework for a Lived Experience Workforce Community of Practice to grow n the Brisbane south region. This will be interspersed with a digital stories component of the project.
Learning Objective 2: Mental health services and community organisations must seek a better understanding of consumers experiences in order to design and develop services that better meet their needs. Fundamental to this approach is placement of consumers at the centre of how services are planned, delivered and evaluated.
References Department of Health, Australian Government. 2017. The Fifth National Mental Health and Suicide Prevention Plan.