What the Royal Commission said

The Commission has called for an increase in the number of workers with lived experience in the mental health system.

The reforms are designed to attract, support and retain workers in the system.

The recommendations include:

  • improved education and training options for lived experience workers
  • optional qualifications for lived experience workers
  • adding the Certificate IV in Mental Health Peer Work to the free TAFE course list
  • improved support and career structures for lived experience workers including coaching and supervision
  • a mandatory organisational readiness and training program for senior leaders
  • improved induction for new staff that recognises the value and expertise of lived experience workers
  • a survey of workers with lived experience to understand their experiences in the mental health system
  • ongoing accountability measures.

What is the opportunity?

The Commission recognised the important contribution of workers with lived experience.

It also identified issues that contribute to the shortage of workers with lived experience across the system.

These include:

  • a lack of organisational support and leadership
  • limited access to supervision
  • unclear roles and responsibilities
  • stigma
  • workers not feeling valued
  • the burden of being a lone worker
  • limited full-time roles
  • limited career opportunities, particularly in leadership
  • low pay.

What are we doing?

MHRV is working with experts, including workers with lived experience to implement the recommendations.

This expert advice will guide reforms to ensure education options meet the needs of the lived experience workforce.

MHRV is working with the Department of Education and Training to develop courses that are ‘fit for purpose’. This includes the certificate IV in Mental Health Peer Work, which is now on the free TAFE list.

Peer workers also need support in the workplace. This means preparing organisations, so they have the right structures and support in place.

MHRV has partnered with the Centre for Mental Health Learning (CMHL) to develop organisational readiness tools and resources to help support lived experience workforces.

MHRV is also working with the lived experience workforce to design a process to gain a better understanding of the issues they face. Together with other accountability measures this will guide improvements in the sector.