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Queensland Mental Health Lived Experience Workforce Framework

A toolkit for embedding people with experience of mental health challenges into public and private workplaces and non-government organisations.

Byrne, L., Wang, L., Roennfeldt, H., Chapman, M., Darwin, L. Queensland Framework for the Development of the Mental Health Lived Experience Workforce. 2019, Queensland Government: Brisbane

Grants & Funding: Queensland Mental Health Commission ($77,390)

Project Duration: 2018 – 2019

Lived experience academic Dr Louise Byrne led the development and colleague Dr Lena Wang also contributed to the project, which was funded by the Queensland Mental Health Commission (QMHC). The suite of Mental Health Lived Experience Workforce framework documents provides practical advice and resources for any organisation employing or looking to employ lived experience staff.

Queensland Mental Health Commissioner Mr Ivan Frkovic said the framework represented a comprehensive guide to harnessing the knowledge of employees who had experience of mental ill-health. He said the new framework was designed to be flexible and transferable, so it could be adapted across a range of workplaces.

Dr Byrne said the framework provided practical guidance for organisations to employ, train, supervise and support staff in dedicated lived experience roles. Her team identified three main pillars for an effective lived experience workforce:

  • All levels of the organisation need to be exposed to lived experience staff and concepts to understand how they work and the value they add.

  • Genuine commitment is needed at all levels of the organisation. Tokenistic roles do not succeed.

  • Practical action is necessary to prepare the workforce; address workplace readiness through training and championing of lived experience roles at all levels of the organisation.

Dr Byrne said lived experience employees had the greatest impact when upper management made a long-term commitment to the roles.

Below: Lena Wang and Louise Byrne (Photo: Louise Byrne)

Key People

  • Louise Byrne (CI) 
  • Dr Lena Wang



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