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Lived experience expertise has been rapidly growing as a key component of recovery orientated practice. Peer work can help break down barriers to mental health care, facilitate hope, and help organisations reflect on their practices for the benefit of consumer care. Yet many people can feel confused about the role of a peer worker, and how to integrate peer work into care appropriately. This month, The Peregrine Centre’s research associate Dr Dayle Raftery talks with Mark Thompson and Jo Kain, two infectiously passionate peer workers, about the history of peer work, the importance of advocacy, and the importance and value of peer work for mental health.

Videos: The NSW Mental Health Commission has a number of videos dedicated to discussing peer work. Jo and Mark particularly recommend What is Peer Work and Peer Work in Action

Video: Dr Louise Byrne presented at TEDxRockhampton on Mental Health, but Not as You Know It. Louise also has a website full of resources and training for the lived experience workforce.

Video: Glad You Asked is a ‘You Can’t Ask That’ style video created by a consumer peer worker group based in Northern Sydney.

Guidelines: The National Mental Health Commission have published Lived Experience Workforce Guidelines to support organisations to incorporate lived experience throughout the business.

Framework: The South Eastern NSW Lived Experience Framework is a lived experience developed guide to give organisations scaffolding when thinking about including lived experience expertise into the organisation. It considers challenges across a number of areas, tools for peer workers (or those considering peer work) and tools for organisations.

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