Living with or having lived through mental illness gives you unique insight that can help others going through it. This lived experience is highly desirable in consumer and carer roles, including peer support.

At the RMH, we value the expertise of people who have personal experience with mental illness – whether it's their own difficulties or those of someone they care for. We recognise the value lived experience has in improving our services through consumer work and peer support.

Watch the following videos for stories from people with lived experience. This rewarding work can also launch you into other employment.

After years of being a consumer, this peer worker was able to find mutual respect with doctors and nurses in the mental health system.

This consumer talks about the challenges and benefits peer work can bring to your own recovery.

"[Peer support] is definitely helping in recovery but it is also very challenging ... People think of recovery as moving on from hospital and I'm working back in hospital. But it's more being able to reassess what recovery does mean to me every day by talking about it with consumers, and that is a definite help."

Consumer work helped this consumer in their recovery, providing hope, joy and self-respect.

This consumer found peer work in the search for more meaningful employment.

"[Peer work] gave me so much purpose in my life. I always think it's so important to make a difference for other people."

Peer support work is about sharing, honesty and authenticity. Talking to people with lived experience can provide validation to consumers and carers.

Consumer work provides the opportunity to learn many different skills, which can then create pathways to other fields.

"In peer support work, I've learnt a lot about how to work with people one-on-one and share experiences, and the power of that."

Mobile Stroke Unit with Ambulance Victoria paramedic and the RMH Stroke team
Media enquiries

We provide a media service from 6am to 10pm each day. Journalists are welcome to contact our media advisor on-call via the RMH Switchboard on (03) 9342 7000.

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