The department is supporting a number of different initiatives to develop and expand the lived experience workforce, including:

Lived experience positions in Victorian public mental health services

A report that details numbers, locations and other information related to lived experience positions within Victorian mental health services has been developed by the department. Lived experience positions in public mental health services captures information provided by mental health services as at October 2017. Data collection will be undertaken again in 2019 to contribute to an updated report that will identify and monitor any shifts in lived experience workforce positions. 

Lived experience workforce strategies

The department has partnered with consumer mental health workers, family/carer mental health workers and alcohol and other drug peer workers to co-design the lived experience workforce strategies. Launched on 1 July 2019, the strategies comprise:

  • The strategy for the consumer mental health workforce in Victoria
  • The strategy for the family carer mental health workforce in Victoria
  • A strategy for the alcohol and other drug (AOD) peer workforce in Victoria

Strategies can be accessed via the Centre for Mental Health Learning's Resource hub

Research report: Expanding Post-discharge Support

A research report that details the benefits and challenges associated with implementation of the Expanding Post-discharge Support Initiative, which introduced peer support into clinical mental health services across Victoria. The report can be accessed from the downloads section of this page. 

The research report is part two of a three-phased approach, which covers:

  • Phase one: Case study development

Case studies have been developed with three different health services in Victoria to provide some different examples of ways in which services have developed and implemented the initiative. These will be available in late 2019. 

  • Phase two: Health service and workforce perspectives

Explores the experiences of peer support workers and the people they work alongside as the Expanding post-discharge Support Initiative was implemented. 

  • Phase three: Service user perspectives

A third phase of the research will capture service user experiences of peer support. This phase has been co-designed with consumers and carers and implementation is planned for late 2019.

Consumer and family carer workforce development expertise

There are two statewide positions that offer support and leadership to further establish and strengthen the Victorian paid consumer and carer mental health workforce. They collaborate with mental health consumer and carer workers as well as other key stakeholders to:

  • Identify the support and development needs of the consumer and carer workforce and their organisations.
  • Develop a calendar of training and activities to address identified workforce development needs.
  • Develop resources to support the consumer and carer workforce and their organisations.
  • Support the establishment and coordination of communities of practice. 

They can:

  • Provide advice with regard to establishing and supporting a lived experience workforce
  • Connect you or your organisation to resources and networks
  • Inform you about upcoming training and events
  • Work with you to develop and tailor lived experience workforce related training

You can access consumer and family carer workforce resources and expertise via:

Consumer-perspective supervision

This project aims to create access to quality, discipline specific supervision for consumer workers is being led by the Victorian Mental Illness Awareness Council  VMIAC, in partnership with the Centre for Psychiatric Nursing and the department. Using the principles of co-production, this consumer-led initiative is bringing together supervisees, supervisors, health services and thought leaders in the area of consumer perspective work to create a framework and structures to support consumer-perspective supervision. 

The Consumer Perspective Supervision Framework was released in November 208, and can be accessed from the Centre for Mental Health Learning Resource Hub.

For further information in relation to this project email workforce@vmiac.org.au