This month, we want to focus on the Carer Peer Worker role in Mental Health Services. The role of the Carer Peer Worker is to support the families and friends of people who are treated by the Adult Community Mental Health Services.
Carer Peer Workers, as the name suggests, are people who have their own lived experience caring for a loved one living with mental ill health. They help families and friends navigate services, provide information around their loved one’s diagnosis, and refer families and friends to other community support services. A key role of the Carer Peer Worker is to provide hope to families and friends, promote and encourage families and friends’ self-care, and to be an ear to listen when needed.
Currently, there are 5 Carer Peer Workers across the State in all Adult Community Mental Health Services teams, and in the Mental Health Hospital in the Home Service.
Within the next month or so, both Carer Peer Workers and Consumer Peer Workers will also be employed within the new Acute Care Team. There will be further expansion in this key area in mid-2022 with the re-opening of the Peacock Centre facility in North Hobart. This site will include Carer Peer Workers within all co-located services with the three services on the ground floor: the Mental Health Integration Hub, Safe Haven and Recovery College. Two of these services are described as “peer-led” in the relevant Operational Service Models, because the guidance a peer worker provides individuals throughout their journey with the service is invaluable.
This support from a Carer Peer Worker will occur straight away, with the initial meet and greet at the service, and then continues through individual recovery planning until transition back to the community.
We want to thank Claire Browning, a Carer Peer Worker at the Clarence and Eastern District Adult Community Mental Health Services, and Chris Fox, the Reform Implementation Team Group Director for providing us with this information.