Peer work in Australia: A new future for mental health

Peer work in Australia: A new future for mental health - Tim Fong

Peer work in Australia: A new future for mental health


This book is a landmark on the journey of peer work in the mental health sector in Australia. It is the first of its kind in Australia: a co-produced book on peer work. It is arguably the first of its kind in the world.This book fulfils the need for a deeper understanding of peer work. The growth of the peer workforce, along with the development of new areas of engage­ment such as the National Disability Insurance Scheme and expansion of the evidence base supporting peer work, highlighted the need for documenting the progress, achievements and future outlook of peer work in the mental health sector in Australia.The publication of this book is both timely and courageous. Timely, because the mental health sector in Australia is currently engaged in the activities and stresses of mental healthcare reform. The growth and maturity of peer work is at a point where its further development and policy structures are intersecting with broader disability sector reforms, leading to new understandings and acknowledgement of the value of quality peer worker. Courageous, because it sets out to produce a quality and substantial book on peer work in Australia, without anything other than enthusiasm and commitment to fulfil a desperate need for such a resource. Also courageous is the reiteration of the fact that there is now good evidence that peer work is an effective and high-quality intervention, and that mental health services require new approaches, such as peer work, in order to deliver effective services.A coalition was formed between Janet Meagher, Mind Australia and Flourish Australia. (Mind Australia and Flourish Australia are leading specialist mental health service providers in Australia.) Both organisations were deeply committed to the production and bore production costs equally. The publication did not receive any external funding.The editorial working group included of representatives from both organisa­tions. It consisted of: Janet Meagher, Tim Fong (Flourish Australia), Fay Jackson (Flourish Australia), Erandathie Jayakody (Mind Australia) and Anthony Stratford (Mind Australia), and was supported by Kim Jones with admini­stra­tive assistance.A commitment to co-production of the book was established from the outset. This is reflected in the membership of the editorial working group and the contributing authors. (Three of the editorial working group members are peer workers, as are twenty-seven of the authors.)Key individuals and organisa
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This book is a landmark on the journey of peer work in the mental health sector in Australia. It is the first of its kind in Australia: a co-produced book on peer work. It is arguably the first of its kind in the world.This book fulfils the need for a deeper understanding of peer work. The growth of the peer workforce, along with the development of new areas of engage­ment such as the National Disability Insurance Scheme and expansion of the evidence base supporting peer work, highlighted the need for documenting the progress, achievements and future outlook of peer work in the mental health sector in Australia.The publication of this book is both timely and courageous. Timely, because the mental health sector in Australia is currently engaged in the activities and stresses of mental healthcare reform. The growth and maturity of peer work is at a point where its further development and policy structures are intersecting with broader disability sector reforms, leading to new understandings and acknowledgement of the value of quality peer worker. Courageous, because it sets out to produce a quality and substantial book on peer work in Australia, without anything other than enthusiasm and commitment to fulfil a desperate need for such a resource. Also courageous is the reiteration of the fact that there is now good evidence that peer work is an effective and high-quality intervention, and that mental health services require new approaches, such as peer work, in order to deliver effective services.A coalition was formed between Janet Meagher, Mind Australia and Flourish Australia. (Mind Australia and Flourish Australia are leading specialist mental health service providers in Australia.) Both organisations were deeply committed to the production and bore production costs equally. The publication did not receive any external funding.The editorial working group included of representatives from both organisa­tions. It consisted of: Janet Meagher, Tim Fong (Flourish Australia), Fay Jackson (Flourish Australia), Erandathie Jayakody (Mind Australia) and Anthony Stratford (Mind Australia), and was supported by Kim Jones with admini­stra­tive assistance.A commitment to co-production of the book was established from the outset. This is reflected in the membership of the editorial working group and the contributing authors. (Three of the editorial working group members are peer workers, as are twenty-seven of the authors.)Key individuals and organisa
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