The Lived Experience Workforce in South Australian Public Mental Health Services

By Charmaine Gallagher & Matthew Halpin          [Download Resource]


‘The overarching aim of the evaluation of the lived experience workforce within South Australian government mental health services was to assess the impact of the Mental Health Directorate’s (MHD) Lived Experience Workforce (LEW) Program (carer consultants and peer specialists) in rehabilitation and acute inpatient units in South Australia in order to explore program strengths, challenges and future developments. The MHD’s Lived Experience Workforce Program is made up of a non-clinical workforce who utilise their lived experience as either a consumer (peer specialist) or carer/family member (carer consultant) to empower, support and enhance clinical mental health service delivery in South Australia.’


Key Content Areas:

  • Evidence supporting peer work
  • Challenges involved in peer support programs
  • Development of the lived experience workforce in South Australia
  • Evaluation of the lived experience workforce in South Australia
  • Recommendations


The introduction of employees with a lived experience either as a consumer or as a carer is an example of innovative practice that adds value to the professionally trained clinical workforce as well as to consumers and their families
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