Lived experience workforce

A career built on life experience.

Lived experience workers are an integral part of implementing recovery approaches for mental health consumers and carers. Lived experience workers bring expertise developed from their own mental health experiences. They have the knowledge and skills to provide support for consumers and carers and act as a conduit to effective treatments and services. They support services by providing their knowledge and insight about what works best for consumers and carers. Their presence provides a role model for recovery, helps break down stigma and contributes to vastly improved service delivery.

As a lived experience worker, you will work closely with consumers, family members and carers to promote participation and provide a responsive service to meet the needs of families and carers of people with serious mental illness.

Guided by the principles of consumer participation and a rights-based approach to mental health care, our lived experience roles include:

Consumer Consultant: Consumer Consultants enhances consumers’ participation in in the services we offer. They work systemically across the organisation and their role includes encouraging consumers to become more involved in their own therapy and treatment and helping them to be more aware of their options. They also facilitate opportunities for clients to contribute to the design or improvement of Forensicare programs and services.

Family and Carer Consultant: Family and Carer Consultants gather information to support families and carers. They work collaboratively with other local support groups to educate, inform and make appropriate referrals. This role also works with mental health workers, community groups and other relevant services to provide information on family and carer experiences.

Consumer Support Peer Worker: The peer worker draws upon their lived experience to provide direct emotional and practical support to consumers, to encourage and empower them to be actively involved in identifying and achieving their recovery.

Family and Carer Peer Worker: The peer worker draws upon their lived experience to encourage an environment of sharing and support founded on the principles of respect, shared responsibility and mutual agreement of what is helpful to each family and carer. They provide emotional and practical support to carers on an individual and group basis, assisting with identifying their needs for support and helping them navigate their way through forensic mental health services, transition and discharge processes.

Senior Consumer Consultant: The Senior Consumer Consultant focuses on broad systemic issues promoting excellence and current thinking in consumer leadership. They promote effective consumer participation across Forensicare, by working closely with consumers and staff and offering suggestions and advice to clinical staff regarding how certain aspects of service may be experienced from a consumer perspective.

“With my lived experience of mental health and prison, I wanted to help people who were wearing my old shoes. I set up Coffee Chat to instil hope – a program where people from the community come into prison to share services that assist the men when they get out. One of the speakers helped a man to find secure employment—a big challenge after a sentence.”

Glenn