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Lived Experience /

Peer Workers

Lived Experience / Peer Worker Research

Under an MoU, the Department of Health provided funding to the National Mental Health Commission to engage us, Lived Experience Australia, to undertake work to investigate the feasibility of establishing a member based organisation for the peer workforce in Australia. Our Final Report explores potential governance structures and models of a national organisation. The Report also explored gaps and opportunities for training of peer workers and data on the peer workforce.

Peer workers bring their valuable lived experience and unique skills to the mental health workforce and are able to establish valuable connections to assist others in the recovery journey.  Building our peer workforce is essential. Having a dedicated organisation or association to support mental health peer workers is the next vital step. 

Activities completed during the project included:

  • Completing an Australian and International review

  • Scoping for a better understand of the peer workforce

  • Conducting workshops in all Australian capital cities

  • Collaborating and communicating with other organisations engaged in supporting peer workers.

  • Developing a model for a National Peer Organisation

  • Having a booth at the TheMHS 2017 Conference

  • Supporting the development of educational material focused on the employer

The Commission will continue to liaise with the Department around potential next steps, including in the context of the Commission’s existing work under the Fifth National Mental Health and Suicide Prevention Plan.

Download the full report, summary report and literature review from the links below. 

Tip Sheets for Lived Experience / Peer Workers

COVID-19 has had a significant impact on all Australians. ​Peer workers play a crucial role in supporting consumers, families and carers in mental health, and the additional challenges from COVID-19 have made this a difficult task.

We have developed two tip sheets to support peer workers during this time, see the link below for details.



View the full research report

Towards Professionalisation: A Project to undertake a feasibility study into the establishment of a member based organisation for the peer workforce in Australia


summary report

View the summary report outlining the key messages and topics from the final reearch report.



We have developed two tip sheets to support peer workers during COVID-19

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