NGO Mental Health Lived Experience Workforce Standards and Guidelines Self Assessment Tool

By The Lived Experience Workforce Project (LEWP), Mental Health Coalition of South Australia          [Download Resource]


‘The NGO Mental Health Lived Experience Workforce Standards and Guidelines are intended to assist organisations that employ staff as mental health Lived Experience Workers. These Standards and Guidelines offer a self assessment template to measure how your NGO is tracking in a successful and powerful implementation and ongoing support of your Lived Experience Workforce.

There are six Standards with associated Guidelines. Each Standard has defined elements and suggested evidence for meeting the criteria for that element. These can be added to by the NGO if there is additional evidence of meeting the Standard or element.

The template is intended as a self assessment. Once the initial assessment is completed, an Action Plan should be developed to address any gaps. NGOs can elect to assess against all Standards and then develop one plan to address gaps, or they may elect to address one Standard at a time’


Key Content Areas:

  • Standard One – Mental Health Lived Experience Workers are a valuable workforce element of mental health services.
  • Standard Two – A safe and healthy workplace that explicitly takes the needs of Lived Experience Workforce into account, benefits the organisation.
  • Standard Three – Wellbeing of Lived Experience staff from diverse groups is intentionally promoted through organisational culture, leadership and policies and procedures.
  • Standard Four – Personal information about a Lived Experience Worker’s health status is confidential.
  • Standard Five – Support mechanisms are in place within the culture of the organisation to ensure Lived Experience staff are supported to work to the best of their capacity.
  • Standard Six – All relevant staff, including management, receive appropriate training and supervision.


 This Standards and Guidelines document uses language that has current relevance and meaning to mental health services. However, as LEW members who have co-designed this document, we want to ensure that we also respect our unique mental health experiences, life experiences, individual skills and strengths. These are the key elements that make the LEW as rich, diverse, valuable and effective as it is. 
There is no single perfect, wholly embraced word to encapsulate this. Preferences are as unique as each of us. We simply ask that as you refer to us as consumers or carers, you also think of us as ‘people’.


Skip to toolbar