A national framework for recovery-oriented mental health services: guide for practitioners and providers

Capability 4B: Acknowledging, valuing and learning from people's lived experience and from families, staff and communities

Page last updated: 2013

Recovery-oriented mental health services value, respect and draw upon the lived experience of mental health issues of consumers, their families and friends, staff and the local community.

Core principles

  • The lived experience of mental health consumers, their families and friends, staff and the local community is valued and respected.
  • Recovery-oriented mental health services provide meaningful roles and positions, including leadership positions, for people with lived experience of mental health issues and mental illness (either personally or in their family or significant relationships).
  • The organisational culture supports and empowers staff with lived experience of mental heath issues to draw on that experience when responding to the people who use their services.

Characteristics

Values and attitudes

Mental health practitioners and providers...
  • are open to and enthusiastic to learn from, and be changed and challenged by, people with lived experience of recovery and mental distress and their families
  • are committed to building a workforce with more professionals who have lived experience of mental health issues as well more peer practitioners/workers

Knowledge

Mental health practitioners and providers...
  • understand participation issues for consumers in different settings and contexts—for example, forensic or compulsory settings—and know how to address these issues Top of page

Skills and behaviours

Mental health practitioners and providers...
  • incorporate into their practice knowledge gained from working with people with lived experience of mental health issues
  • support mental health professionals with lived experience to draw on their experience
  • seek and obtain a representative view of what consumers think and use this information to drive and shape practice and service delivery
  • provide opportunities for people in recovery wishing to learn from the peer workforce, for example, peer-led mentorship, coaching, education and training programs as well as traineeships and scholarships

Recovery-oriented practice

Mental health practitioners and providers...
  • champion robust participation processes
  • seek out advice from consumer and carer leaders and organisations
  • support and collaborate with peer-run independent initiatives
  • learn from colleagues who have accumulated experience and wisdom in incorporating their own lived experience of mental health issues into their practice Top of page

Recovery-oriented leadership

Mental health practitioners and providers...
  • ensure that recruitment processes for all professional positions encourage applications from suitably qualified mental health professionals who also have lived experience of mental health issues/illness either personally, in their family or in significant relationships
  • involve people with lived experience of mental health issues in decision-making processes (including recruitment processes)
  • provide dedicated roles—including leadership positions—for people whose lived experience of mental health issues appropriately equips them to work within the service and who are resourced to develop roles and position statements
  • provide the same management support, supervision and professional development opportunities to peer workers and other workers with lived experience as are provided to other professional groups
  • bring together people with lived experience, family and carers and service providers in partnership and use their experiences to design, develop and improve services
  • provide education and training programs conducted by peers and people in recovery for all staff, across all professions and at all levels
  • provide opportunities for research and evaluation conducted by peers and people in recovery, and incorporate findings into quality improvement initiatives and ongoing organisational change.

Opportunities

Resource materials