For Lived Experience/Peer Workers

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Becoming a Lived Experience/Peer Worker 

Simply having lived experience of mental distress and recovery does not make someone an effective Peer Worker. Effective Peer Workers are highly skilled and trained; they know how to apply the things they have learned through their lived experience to their work practice and how to do so within the frameworks, principles and values that guide peer practice.

Most roles require employees to have or be working towards a nationally recognised qualification. The Certificate IV in Mental Health Peer Work is the only qualification that supports application of lived experience knowledge into practice within the context of personal lived experience (consumer) or carer/family peer work roles.

Read more about becoming a LEW here.

Or learn more pathways to peer work by watching our friends discuss "What's This Thing Called Peer Work?" at Festival of Now 2020:

Certificate IV in Mental Health Peer Work

The LEWP actively advocated for the Lived Experience-focussed Certificate IV in Mental Health Peer Work to be added to the subsidised training list, making it more accessible for people in peer work roles.

Theory, evidence and practical activities help people with personal lived experience (consumers) and lived experience from the carer/family perspective develop their lived experience knowledge into an employable skill set.

Centacare and TAFESA are currently delivering the course face-to-face in SA. Click here to be taken to the Centacare website - contact details can be located at the bottom of their page. To contact TAFESA about future courses, free call 1800 882 661.

To search all training providers in Australia who deliver this course, click here

To explore whether you're eligible for any Recognition of Prior Learning and how to navigate the process, click here to download our 'Certificate IV in Mental Health Peer Work: Guide to Recognition of Prior Learning.'

NEW: Orientation to Mental Health Peer Work

LEWP recognises that not everyone who is thinking about peer work as a career is ready to study the qualification or start working. To support people to explore their readiness, we have developed a free program that looks at what peer work is, the recovery knowledge and skills required to be a Peer Worker or study, the realities of peer work in the NGO sector and expectations of students undertaking the Certificate IV in Mental Health Peer Work.

Expressions of Interest for our Pilot Program have closed. Details of future sessions (including Expression of Interest process and documents) will be available here when scheduled.

Professional Development (PD) Workshops

The LEWP, in partnership with SA Health, provides free training for people in paid, designated lived experience/peer work roles to further develop knowledge and work practice relating to the mental health lived experience skill set. PD workshops also provide LEWs with opportunities to build professional networks and establish valuable peer mentoring relationships.

Registrations are open to carer/family and personal lived experience (consumer) workers from both the NGO and Government mental health sectors. We also welcome designated Peer Workers with related specialisations e.g. AoD.

Details of future sessions (including link to register) will be available here when scheduled.


 NGO LEW Community of Practice

A space for people in NGO peer work roles to network and share with others, in order to develop peer work-related skills and knowledge.

Meetings are open to people in paid roles in which mental health lived experience expertise is noted as a key essential criterion of their position. We also welcome designated Peer Workers with related specialisations e.g. AoD.

Read the Terms of Reference here.

Details of future sessions (including link to register) will be available here when scheduled.

Peer Supervision

As well as supervision with a line manager, designated peer work roles require lived experience practice-specific supervision, a safe place to reflect on practice and knowledge to ensure integrity of the role the effective, purposeful use of lived experience.

LEWP is pleased to offer external Peer Supervision on a fee-for-service basis to people in paid, designated peer work roles within the NGO mental health sector in SA.

Peer Supervision will be delivered in line with the LEWP Peer Supervision Framework which can be accessed here

An overview of the service including fee structure, how it works and the process for booking directly with a Peer Supervisor can be downloaded here

Organisations and individual workers should read both documents before making direct contact with the Peer Supervisor.