Peer workers are a relatively new and evolving workforce in Australia. While many peer workers will have formal mental health qualifications or will be acquiring them, the core of their value and competency stems from their lived/living experience of mental illness or supporting someone with mental illness.
QLEWN and Brisbane North PPIMS Network, with the support of the QAMH worked together to explore the supply and demand, and most importantly, the quality of available training in Queensland for the relatively new and growing peer workforce.
Two surveys, one for organisations and one for peer workers, were widely distributed across QAMH (e-newsletter), QLEWN (mailing list) and Brisbane North PHN (QLD PHN’s and PPIMS membership) networks over a three-week period.
Together, the surveys aimed to identify and be able to advise on the current lived experience workforce in Queensland including:
- Existing roles and anticipated growth
- Availability and quality of training and/or professional development opportunities, including a Mental Health Peer Work Skill Set
A total of 70 peer workers and 19 organisations completed the surveys.