S52: LEAD PRESENTATIONS: Growing the Lived and Living Experience Workforce

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By December 8, 2022 No Comments

Authors: Nadia Gavin, Bill Darby, Michelle Swann, Matthew Corbett, Jackie Mead, Rachel Green, Sophie Potter

Year: 2022

Event: 2022 TheMHS Conference

Subject: peer work, workforce, lived experience

Type of resource: Conference Presentations and Papers

Abstract: LEAD PRESENTATION: Bringing together the mental health, AOD and harm reduction lived and living experience workforces
Nadia Gavin, Bill Darby, Michelle Swann, Matthew Corbett

Overview of the Lived Experience Workforce Advisory Group and lived and lived experience workforce disciplines (20 mins)

A comprehensive workforce development program for Lived and Living Experience Workforces from harm reduction, Alcohol or drug treatment and mental health services is currently in development in Victoria.

The diverse disciplines are at different stages of development, different sizes and they have different needs, noting that by bringing these lived and living experience workforces together, there are opportunities to learn about diversity of experiences for the benefit of supporting service users, consumers, carer, families and supporters.

A Lived Experience Workforce Advisory Group (LEWAG) was established in late 2020 that brought together Lived Experience Workforce from different roles across Mental Health, alcohol or drug and harm reduction sectors as well as peak bodies and workforce development agencies. The purpose of the LEWAG is to provide advice to government that has responsibility for new investments into lived experience workforce development and the implementation of strategic projects.

In partnership with the Lived Experience Workforce Advisory Group, the department has considered what structures and supports are required for each discipline, and where there are the best opportunities for shared learning and supports.

This session outlines the distinct differences between the lived and living experience workforces and several policy documents that support unique discipline identities as well as shared vision and collective priorities.

Time for questions and answers (10 mins)

Workshop activity (30 mins – 4 groups - flexible depending on numbers)

Building on what was learned about similarities and differences across the LLEW disciplines, the practical workshop activity will provide an opportunity for participants to consider how these might influence the development and delivery of training and development initiatives.
Workshop participants will look at specific training and development topics from Victoria’s Lived and Living Experience Workforce Development program and discuss relevance across the different LLEW disciplines.

Four topics will be identified e.g. mental health system navigation. For each topic workshop participants will discuss:
• What might shared learning objectives look like?
• Are there learning objectives specific to different lived and living experience workforce disciplines/target audiences?
• Are there any discipline or audience specific messages/considerations?
• How could this topic be delivered collectively to lived and living experience workforces and broader audiences?

LEAD PRESENTATION: "We need to do this on purpose!”: nurturing accidental pathways to peer work
Jackie Mead, Rachel Green, Sophie Potter

Pursuing employment in peer work can be transformative. However, as an emerging industry there are limited opportunities to explore work experience.

SANE has been running a light touch volunteer program on its online Forums for five years. It supports service users of the Forums to transition to a volunteer that welcomes members and creates a supportive space. SANE has observed an unplanned pattern emerge of these volunteers then initiating further study and re-entering the workforce as paid Peer Workers. SANE’s hypothesis is that the supportive nature of the training and support we provide creates a light-touch, low pressure, flexible and supported pathway into paid peer work.

SANE has won funding to start to nurture this process and purposefully recreate this process. This project is serving as a proof-of-concept pilot, to determine whether a development of an organised and dedicated effort to support service users with soft entry pathways to light touch peer support could increase participants engagement with education and employment. This presentation will discuss:
Learning from observable trends in peer pathways
A case study – from service user to employee
Early insights from “doing it on purpose” – lessons learnt so far

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