Lived experience as part of the mental health workforce – have your say and be in the running to win a $100 gift card!*
The Mental Health Council of Tasmania is developing a Peer Workforce Strategy to support the growth and development of the peer workforce in Tasmania’s mental health sector. As mental health family, friends and carers, we want to hear your thoughts to make sure the peer workforce is developed to make a real difference to your experience of our mental health system. We’re interested to know what an ideal peer workforce looks like for you. We want to hear your ideas on what’s needed to deliver this.
How can I provide feedback?
You can provide feedback by:
- completing a short online survey by Wednesday 31 July 2019 – click here
- attending a discussion forum
- an individual chat – phone Bec Thomas, Project Officer – Mental Health Carers Tasmania on (03) 6228 7448, on 17, 18, 24 or 25 July 2019
- a written submission – email Project.Officer@mentalhealthcarerstas.org.au or post to:
Mental Health Carers Tasmania
2 Terry Street
Glenorchy TAS 7010
What will you do with my feedback?
Your feedback will be de-identified and will remain strictly confidential, unless you request otherwise. Your feedback will be summarised in a report to be provided to the Mental Health Council of Tasmania. If you provide your contact details, we will share this report with you. This report will help inform the Mental Health Council of Tasmania in developing the Peer Workforce Strategy. The Peer Workforce Strategy will be completed by the end of this year and is a key action under the Rethink Mental Health Plan.
What is the ‘peer workforce’?
In recent years more and more organisations within our mental health system have started to employ people specifically for the expertise they’ve developed through their personal experience of mental ill-health and recovery, as a consumer or carer. These jobs are referred to as ‘peer worker’ roles and this growing part of our workforce is referred to as the ‘peer workforce’.
Why do we need a strategy?
The peer workforce is spread across public mental health services and community service organisations. Given the growth and spread of the peer workforce, it would be helpful to have a strategy to support and strengthen its development. The Tasmanian Government has funded the Mental Health Council of Tasmania to develop a Peer Workforce Strategy.
What do peer workers do?
Having been in similar situations themselves, peer workers listen and truly understand the feelings and experiences of consumers, families, friends and carers. They share their stories to build rapport and trust and provide hope for recovery. Carer peer workers support family and friends by letting them know about the services available, encouraging them to explore the most effective treatment options, supporting them in having their voice heard and giving advice in relation to rights and advocacy. You can read some stories about carer experiences with carer peer workers below:
“She’s also living the same experience, and that is what makes it so much easier…it’s almost like a different language, because you can’t talk to a person down the street…I mean it’s much easier to talk about it with someone else in a like situation.” (Carer)
“She shared her personal stuff as well with me, made it easier, because you feel like you’re not talking to someone who thinks they’re higher than you, or better than you, or more educated, or qualified, or anything else than you, so you’re talking to someone who’s gone through her own hell as well. So they don’t sit there high and mighty…and place their judgments as they do, so I think that’s probably a huge part that she actually shares herself.” (Carer)
Peer workers also provide input into the development of programs, services and policy, providing a non-clinical perspective to other mental health professionals to help inform recovery-oriented practice and policy.
Where can I get more information?
For more information or to arrange an individual chat to provide your views, please contact Bec Thomas, Project Officer – Mental Health Carers Tasmania.
Phone: (03) 6228 7448
*To be entered into the competition to win a $100 gift card please provide contact details when completing the survey, making a written or verbal submission or attending the discussion forum.