Fourteen people graduated yesterday (14 June 2017) with their Certificate IV in Mental Health Peer Work as part of a joint initiative to provide an ongoing legacy to support people with mental illness.
Supported by Western NSW Local Health District, Marathon Health, Partners in Recovery Consortium members and the Mental Health Coordinating Council these fully qualified Peer Workers completed 18 months of studying.
They covered topics including working with diverse people, assessing and promoting social, emotional and physical wellbeing, and applying lived experience in mental health peer work in their course
Western NSW Local Health District's Director of Mental Health, Drug and Alcohol, Jason Crisp, said that Peer Workers offer a unique service to people accessing help for mental illness.
“Developing the Peer Workforce is a key initiative of the Western NSW Local Health District and we are pleased to be able to recognise the achievements of the graduates which contributes to a more qualified and skilled consumer workforce across the District," Mr Crisp said.
“Peer Workers have lived experiences of mental health issues and recovery and promote wellness by helping and empowering people who experience mental health issues by using their own experience, knowledge and skills to instil hope.
“We are excited to welcome two graduates into the Western NSW Local Health District peer workforce and value their contribution to people with mental illness and their recovery."
Marathon Health Executive Manager Health Services, Bryan Hoolahan, said that the workers will play a valuable role in supporting mental health consumers in western NSW and were filling a clear gap.
“This peer worker training was established following grass roots recommendations from our consumer advisory group, who know just how important peer workers are. We congratulate the graduates and welcome them into the workforce," said Mr Hoolahan.
Media enquiries: Emily Mitchell, MHDA Communications Officer, Western NSW Local health District via Emily.firstname.lastname@example.org