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The Lived Experience Resource Portal is a central place where organisations employing Lived Experience workers, as well as Lived Experience workers themselves, can access current and relevant mental health Lived Experience resources and guidelines. The portal will be kept up to date by MHCT, and include links to current Lived Experience initiatives on both a state and national level. The resources and guidelines provided will focus primarily on Lived Experience within the context of mental health, while also acknowledging that many resources will be relevant and apply to other areas of Lived Experience.

The National Lived Experience (Peer) Workforce Development Guidelines state: ‘Designated Lived Experience roles include all positions that require lived experience as key criteria, regardless of position type or setting. Key to qualification for Lived Experience roles, is that the experiences were so significant they caused the individual to reassess and often change their lives, their future plans, and their view of themselves

Two Distinct Role Perspectives:

  1. Personal experience of mental health challenges, service use, periods of healing/personal recovery
  2. Experience of supporting someone through mental health challenges, service use, periods of healing/ personal recovery’ 


Often the titles ‘peer workforce’ and ‘Lived Experience workforce’ are used interchangeably. The national guidelines recognise Lived Experience workforce as the preferred term of the two, with results from their consultations confirming that peer workforce is often misunderstood to only refer to individual peer work and does not appear to encompass other Lived Experience roles such as those in education, policy, advocacy and representation as the latter does. Lived Experience is capitalised when referring to professional roles and workforces to distinguish it from describing personal lived experience. The definition encompasses both consumer/personal and family/carer workforces, while also acknowledging the differences of these workforces.

Tasmania’s Rethink Mental Health and Suicide Prevention Plan 2015 – 2025 identified the establishment of a Lived Experience workforce in Tasmania as a priority action. Subsequently the Mental Health, Alcohol and Drug Directorate (MHADD) developed a Peer Workforce Framework which was used as the basis for the Statewide Mental Health Services Peer Worker and Family/Carer Peer Worker Trial.

Although Tasmania’s first PWDS wasn’t released all that long ago, Tasmania already has a growing Lived Experience workforce with several community organisations currently employing Lived Experience workers within mental health, alcohol and drug and representation/advocacy programs. In 2022 MHCT launched The Lived Experience (Peer) Workforce Development Strategy Implementation Plan and is currently in the process of being implemented across Tasmania.

Peer Workforce Development Strategy 2019

The Lived Experience (Peer) Workforce Development Strategy Implementation Plan

Rethink 2020 State Mental Health Plan

Flourish Tasmania (Consumer)

Flourish Mental Health Action In Our Hands Inc. (‘Flourish’) is Tasmania’s peak body for people with a personal lived experience of mental ill-health. Flourish works with mental health consumers to ensure that their rights, responsibilities and opinions are respected by policy makers, service providers and the Tasmanian Community.

Mental Health Family and Friends Tasmania (Carer)

Mental Health Families and Friends Tasmania (MHFFTas) is a statewide leader in the provision of mental health and AOD misuse families and friends support. MHFFTas aims to improve the quality of life for the one in five Tasmanian families, friends, carers and people living with mental ill health and or AOD misuse.

In December 2021, the National Lived Experience (Peer) Workforce Development Guidelines were launched under Action 29 of the 5th National Mental Health and Suicide Prevention Plan. The guidelines aim to increase understanding, collaboration and improve outcomes for people accessing services and communities more broadly. To support sustainable workforce growth, the guidelines outline five key areas that serve as a roadmap for leaders to support practice and policy in mental health services. The national guidelines are accompanied by a suite of resources including a practical guide to designing and developing lived experience positions, and a national roadmap of growing a thriving Lived Experience workforce.

Lived Experience Workforce Guidelines – National Mental Health Commission

National Lived Experience (Peer) Workforce Development Guidelines

National Lived Experience Workforce Guidelines Roadmap

National Lived Experience Workforce Development Guidelines: Summary of Consultations