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Lived Experience Workforce

— Discussion and Analysis

Ideas of and issues in co-design and co-production including overcoming barriers.

Pathways for Supporting the 'Not Negotiable' Lived Experience (Peer) Workforces to Thrive: A scoping paper for formal lived experience expertise training programs and supports. 
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The experiences of people with lived experience who are part of these workforces are centred throughout the scoping paper. These insights and contributions shine a light on the current landscape and offer an imagining of what the ideal needs to be.

The paper provides recommendations for improving existing training options, career opportunities and support structures to strengthen the lived experience (peer) workforces. They outline key opportunities for growth, expansion, professionalisation and advocacy to ensure lived experience as a unique discipline and skillset is valued, developed and embedded across the mental health and social sectors.

Sinclair, A. 
Help yourself to our staff kitchen: a peer worker’s reflections on microaggressions. 
The Journal of Mental Health Training, Education and Practice
13(3), 167–172.. 
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In this article, Aimee Sinclair explores various microaggressions she has experienced in the mental health system, through the lens of her experience as a peer worker.

Voronka, J. 
Turning mad knowledge into affective labor: The case of the peer support worker. 
American Quarterly
69(2), 333–338. 
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As advancements are made through processes of social inclusion, disability justice frameworks have emerged to query the limits of rights-based and incorporation strategies by revealing how such practices sustain systems of oppression. Indeed, disability justice has shown how inclusion models position “exclusion” as the problem in need of redress, leaving larger structural issues of inequity unchallenged.

Victorian Mental Illness Awareness Council (VMIAC) 
Response to the Royal Commission’s recommendations on the consumer workforce June 2021. 
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The Royal Commission into Victoria’s Mental Health System (the Commission) identified major issues and concerns in respect to the mental health workforce and, the same time, recognised the central role of workforce to realising the changes necessary to create foundational reforms in the mental health system.

UPSIDES project. 
UPSIDES project. 
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UPSIDES stands for Using Peer Support in Developing Empowering Mental Health Services. The main objective of UPSIDES is to widen access to peer support interventions for people with severe mental illness, by researching sustainable best practice in high-, middle- and low-resource settings.

Project Partners

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Acknowledgement of Country

The National Mental Health Consumer and Carer Forum and the National Primary Health Network Mental Health Lived Experience Engagement Network acknowledge the Traditional Custodians of the lands and waters on which we work and live on across Australia. We recognise their continuing connection to land, waters, culture and community. We pay our respects to Elders past and present.

Definition of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Lived Experience

“A lived experience recognises the effects of ongoing negative historical impacts and or specific events on the social and emotional wellbeing of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples. It encompasses the cultural, spiritual, physical, emotional and mental wellbeing of the individual, family or community.

“People with lived or living experience of suicide are those who have experienced suicidal thoughts, survived a suicide attempt, cared for someone through a suicidal crisis, been bereaved by suicide or having a loved one who has died by suicide, acknowledging that this experience is significantly different and takes into consideration Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples ways of understanding social and emotional wellbeing.” - Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Lived Experience Centre

We welcome Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people to this site and invite them to provide any feedback or items for inclusion.

Recognition of Lived Experience

We also recognise people with lived and living experience of mental ill-health and recovery and the experience of people who are carers, families, kin, or supporters.


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