The Regional Peer Workforce Framework

The Framework

The South Eastern NSW Mental Health Lived Experience (Peer) Work Framework is the first such Framework in Australia and is envisaged to play a significant role in the ongoing development of the Lived Experience (Peer) Workforce across NSW.

You can access the Framework here and also watch a recording of the online launch event below:

Background

COORDINARE undertook a review of mental health and suicide prevention services across the South Eastern NSW region. We consulted with consumers, carers and service providers and found:

  • an inequitable distribution of primary mental health services across South Eastern NSW
  • high rates of hospitalisation for self-harm, particularly for young people and Aboriginal people
  • increasing rates of mental health related hospitalisation overall.

As a result, we have been working with the Illawarra Shoalhaven Local Health District (ISLHD) and Southern NSW Local Health District (SNSWLHD) to develop a Regional Mental Health and Suicide Prevention Plan (Plan) which brings about positive change for mental health consumers, their families and carers. The Plan is an action of the 5th National Mental Health Plan.

The Plan has nine priority areas against which key actions require working together across the health system, with consumers and other stakeholders, to provide better integrated care for people with mental illness. It is available here.

The first priority action of this Plan is to develop a regional Peer Workforce Framework and in an innovative arrangement the NSW Ministry of Health has provided $85,000 through SNSWLHD to complete this work.

COORDINARE has used the funding to commission Dr Leanne Craze of Craze Lateral Solutions to develop this Framework. Dr Craze is highly regarded within the consumer movement and the peer workforce, having authored the National Framework for recovery-oriented mental health services and developed the Mental Health Commission of NSW’s Peer Wok Hub. Dr Craze partnered with Being, an independent and state-wide peak organisation for people with lived experience of mental illness in NSW and Bé Aadam, a lived experience consultant.

The Framework is available to other PHNs and Local Health Districts to use as a template as they seek to develop their own Frameworks. This is in the context of work beginning on the forthcoming National Peer Workforce Development Guidelines and the NSW Peer Workforce Framework.

Design and development phase survey and conversations

As a part of the Design and Development phase, consumers of mental health services were invited to respond to a survey about the value and roles of peer work.

A summary of ideas and views collected during the Discovery phase is available here, as well as a draft Table of Contents for the Framework. Following this, a brief survey seeking the views of peer workers and other mental health professionals on the draft Table of Contents was conducted. People were also invited to take part in conversations throughout the Design and development phase.

The Framework

The South Eastern NSW Mental Health Lived Experience (Peer) Work Framework is the first such Framework in Australia and is envisaged to play a significant role in the ongoing development of the Lived Experience (Peer) Workforce across NSW.

You can access the Framework here and also watch a recording of the online launch event below:

Background

COORDINARE undertook a review of mental health and suicide prevention services across the South Eastern NSW region. We consulted with consumers, carers and service providers and found:

  • an inequitable distribution of primary mental health services across South Eastern NSW
  • high rates of hospitalisation for self-harm, particularly for young people and Aboriginal people
  • increasing rates of mental health related hospitalisation overall.

As a result, we have been working with the Illawarra Shoalhaven Local Health District (ISLHD) and Southern NSW Local Health District (SNSWLHD) to develop a Regional Mental Health and Suicide Prevention Plan (Plan) which brings about positive change for mental health consumers, their families and carers. The Plan is an action of the 5th National Mental Health Plan.

The Plan has nine priority areas against which key actions require working together across the health system, with consumers and other stakeholders, to provide better integrated care for people with mental illness. It is available here.

The first priority action of this Plan is to develop a regional Peer Workforce Framework and in an innovative arrangement the NSW Ministry of Health has provided $85,000 through SNSWLHD to complete this work.

COORDINARE has used the funding to commission Dr Leanne Craze of Craze Lateral Solutions to develop this Framework. Dr Craze is highly regarded within the consumer movement and the peer workforce, having authored the National Framework for recovery-oriented mental health services and developed the Mental Health Commission of NSW’s Peer Wok Hub. Dr Craze partnered with Being, an independent and state-wide peak organisation for people with lived experience of mental illness in NSW and Bé Aadam, a lived experience consultant.

The Framework is available to other PHNs and Local Health Districts to use as a template as they seek to develop their own Frameworks. This is in the context of work beginning on the forthcoming National Peer Workforce Development Guidelines and the NSW Peer Workforce Framework.

Design and development phase survey and conversations

As a part of the Design and Development phase, consumers of mental health services were invited to respond to a survey about the value and roles of peer work.

A summary of ideas and views collected during the Discovery phase is available here, as well as a draft Table of Contents for the Framework. Following this, a brief survey seeking the views of peer workers and other mental health professionals on the draft Table of Contents was conducted. People were also invited to take part in conversations throughout the Design and development phase.

Consumer Conversations

Interested consumers, peer workers and other workers are invited to host or join a Consumer Conversation. These conversations are to be informal and can be held virtually with consumers over coffee! 

Questions for discussion are:

  1. Have you had experience of a peer worker?
  2. What did the peer worker do?
  3. Do peer workers assist in ways other workers don't?
  4. What is different or important about what peer workers do?
  5. What do you think a good peer worker should do?

A template is available for groups to summarise their thoughts and ideas, to be returned via email. Read below for more details or to register.

Alternatively, you might like to share your thoughts and ideas on our online survey rather than register for a group conversation. To contribute via survey, click here.

Who can hold a Consumer Conversation?

Anyone who identifies as having personal experiences of mental health issues, of using mental health services or receiving mental health support. For example:

  • you might have personal experience of mental health issues
  • you might have experience of supporting and caring for a family member or close friend with mental health issues
  • you might have experience of both
  • you might work as a peer worker or volunteer in a mental health or community service.

How to host a Consumer Conversation?

Your first step is to register via the form below, then decide how you want to host your conversation. Given recent unfolding health events, here are some options for holding conversations:

  • online face-to-face using skype, Zoom, Google Hang Outs, FaceTime or other similar platforms
  • by sharing and working on the questions online - using Dropbox, Google Drive, OneDrive, MediaFire, Citrix etc.
  • set up a closed Facebook group
  • set up a group on Messenger
  • via phone – connect a small number of people together.

Alternatively, you may wish to contact Leanne Craze who can organise a Zoom meeting for you, and attend / assist if you wish. Keen to get involved, but need help? Don't hesitate to get in touch.

Who to invite?

You might like to invite friends, fellow peers, people you work or volunteer with, people using your service or people you know from elsewhere.

Preparing for your Consumer Conversation

  • set the date / time / how you want to host the conversation and let your guests know 
  • have the questions on hand
  • you might want to share information about the Peer Work Framework Project
  • if you are able to, you could share information and questions with your friends prior.

At the Conversation

As the host of your Consumer Conversation you have two major roles:

  • facilitating the conversation - introduce each question and make sure the discussion keeps to time
  • recording and sending us the results.

Consumer Conversation Guide

Before you start - please register below. If anyone taking part in your conversation also wishes to receive more information about the Peer Work Framework Project, they may also like to provide their details. Your discussion should go for around an hour – that’s roughly 10 minutes on each question. 

  • introductions – give everyone a chance to introduce themselves, no more than 30 seconds each (5 minutes)
  • background – introduce the Peer Work Framework Project (5 minutes)
  • dive into the questions
  • a quick recap – quickly summarise the main points.

To register for a Consumer Conversation and to receive further information, fill out your details below or contact: leanne.craze@bigpond.com

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Page last updated: 14 Sep 2021, 01:08 PM