Nearly 50 people gathered this month to create a path for people with lived experience of mental illness to participate, lead and influence every part of NSW’s mental health system.
At a two day workshop hosted by the NSW Mental Health Commission on February 15-16, a mix of consumers, carers and other stakeholders from the mental health and social support sectors came together to co-design a ‘Lived Experience Framework’ that will help open the door to full participation in decision-making.
NSW Mental Health Commissioner Catherine Lourey, who opened the event, said the project was about ensuring the insights of people with personal experience of mental illness and recovery were a fundamental part of the mental health system, and not just included as an afterthought.
“We’re working to achieve this by using a co-design approach, which sees consumers, carers and other stakeholders come to the table as equals to work through ideas and barriers together,” Ms Lourey said.
Over the course of the two day event, attendees participated in sessions on co-design methodology, looked at past attempts at embedding lived experience, and determined what the lived experience framework should look like and what it will take for it to be adopted.
Among the speakers at the event were the Minister for Mental Health, the Hon. Tanya Davies MP, and lived experience leader and NSW Mental Health Deputy Commissioner, Fay Jackson.
Consumers and carers from the Commission’s past lived experience projects attended and co-designed the agenda for the two days. Other groups that participated included staff from Local Health Districts, Primary Health Networks, the Aboriginal Health and Medical Research Council (AH&MRC), Transcultural Mental Health Centre, Headspace and the NSW Government departments of Family and Community Services, Education and Justice.
The Lived Experience Framework project is ongoing.