Department of Health

Lived experience perspectives central to mental health workforce reform

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The Royal Commission into Victoria’s Mental Health System called for people with lived experience to be central to reform planning and delivery.

This includes the many programs to expand and better support Victoria’s mental health and wellbeing workforce.

For the first time, the Department of Health is funding peak bodies Tandem and the Victorian Mental Illness Awareness Council(VMIAC) to employ workers as lived experience leads in workforce reform.

VMIAC is the peak Victorian organisation for people with a lived experience of mental health problems or emotional distress. Tandem is the Victorian peak body representing family and friends supporting people living with mental health challenges.

The VMIAC and Tandem roles aim to strengthen consumer and family-carer perspectives on workforce policy and reform recommended by the Royal Commission.

They provide advice and expertise to guide and contribute to a range of workforce reforms, including lived experience workforce initiatives. 

The roles are supported by a network of Victorian consumer and family-carer representatives through participation registers at VMIAC and Tandem.

The VMIAC and Tandem lived experience leads in workforce reform started in 2021. They are currently supporting the Mental Health and Wellbeing Division with projects associated with the implementation of the Mental Health and Wellbeing Workforce Strategy, including:

  • Design of specifications and assessment of applications for a number of scholarships, graduate, and transition programs
  • Workforce data projects
  • Lived Experience workforce leadership, training and professional development.

The Royal Commission highlighted the value and expertise of lived experience workforces. It recommended a series of reforms to expand the consumer and family carer lived experience workforces across all levels of the system.

Reviewed 22 March 2022


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Mental Health and Wellbeing Division

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