Department of Health

New programs to develop Victoria’s lived and living experience workforces 

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Lived and living experience workforces (LLEWs) are central to reforming Victoria’s mental health and wellbeing system.

Working from a lived experience perspective, LLEWs work across a range of areas including service delivery. This includes peer support, system advocacy, service design, management, consultancy, learning and development and academia.

The Victorian Government is investing in a range of programs to help LLEWs thrive. More than 60 projects are being delivered over two years through a new $11.45 million Lived and Living Experience Workforce Development Program.  

The program offers training, supervision, practice supports, organisational supports, education and career pathways for LLEWs in public mental health, alcohol and other drug and harm reduction services. It also includes building the LLEWs disciplinary perspectives by investing in Lived and Living Experience workforce-led research. 

Nine agencies are leading this workforce program, including: Centre for Mental Health Learning, Centre for Mental Health Nursing, Harm Reduction Victoria, Mental Health Victoria, Mind Australia, Self Help Addiction Resource Centre, Tandem and the Carer Lived Experience Workforce network, The Bouverie Centre and Victorian Mental Illness Awareness Council.  

These agencies recently formed the LLEW Development Partnership. The partnership ensures lived and living experience leadership throughout the program. It also supports agencies to share their expertise to maximise their collective impact to deliver the best outcomes for LLEWS. 

The initiative builds on the Leadership Pathways and Development Package for specialist mental health services, introduced in 2021. This program invests $8 million to support new positions and professional development for lived experience workers.   

Lived and living experience workforces are important to system reform, as outlined in Victoria’s Mental Health and Wellbeing Workforce Strategy 2021-2024

To be effective, LLEW roles need to be supported, valued and sustained which is why more than $50 million has been invested since 2020 to build the supports, structures and career pathways needed to ensure a solid foundation for growth. 

Read more about LLEW initiatives in Victorian state funded mental health, alcohol and other drug and harm reduction services.

Reviewed 29 August 2022

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