New localised Peer Workforce Framework to be developed

Planning and collaboration 492386608

Implementation of the South Eastern NSW Regional Mental Health and Suicide Prevention Plan (Plan) has begun.

Implementation of the South Eastern NSW Regional Mental Health and Suicide Prevention Plan (the Plan) has begun with COORDINARE – South Eastern NSW PHN, Southern NSW Local Health District and Illawarra Shoalhaven Local Health District, announcing that Dr Leanne Craze AM has been engaged to develop a regional Peer Workforce Framework.

According to Dianne Kitcher, CEO of COORDINARE, the Framework is the first priority action of the Plan. This Framework will provide clear strategies for establishing and supporting a mental health peer workforce through promoting training, peer supervision and career development.

“Evidence shows that better outcomes in mental health can be achieved when organisations promote and support the employment of peer workers who apply their personal lived experience of mental illness and recovery in supporting consumers. Peer workers work alongside multidisciplinary teams providing person centred support, recovery orientated and trauma informed care,” said Ms Kitcher.

"COORDINARE has been taking an innovative approach to building our region’s Peer Workforce in transforming mental health services and support systems towards implementing a stepped care approach. However, this Framework will produce practical strategies and actions that will help to identify challenges, competencies and capabilities that can applied across public, private and non-government workplace settings,” said Ms Kitcher.

Julie Carter, Director Mental Health Services at Illawarra Shoalhaven Local Health District said: “We are delighted that Dr Leanne Craze from Craze Lateral Solutions has been engaged to lead the consultations and development of a localised Peer Workforce Framework for our region. She is highly regarded within the consumer movement and the Peer Workforce."

Dr Craze has previously developed the Peer Work Hub for the Mental Health Commission of NSW, completed foundational work for the Commonwealth in developing the scoping study for a National Mental Health Consumer Organisation and was the author of the National Framework for recovery-oriented mental health services.

Dr Craze will be partnering with Being, an independent and state-wide peak organisation for people with lived experience of mental illness (consumers) in NSW and Bé Aadam, a lived experience consultant.

Cherie Puckett, Director Mental Health Drug and Alcohol, Cancer, Renal, Palliative and Breast Screen for Southern NSW Local Health District said the project which is being funded through the NSW Ministry of Health has three phases of co-design – discovery, design and development, and positioning for success.

“Dr Craze will undertake extensive consultation with peer workers, stakeholders and communities throughout each phase,” said Ms Puckett.

Details of co-design activities and opportunities to contribute to the development of this Framework will be made available shortly.

Once the Framework is developed locally, the intention is that the Framework will be made available to other PHNs and Local Health Districts to use as they seek to develop their own Frameworks.

To find out more about the South Eastern NSW Regional Mental Health and Suicide Prevention Plan, click here.