Roughly one in five Australians will experience a mental illness, and most Australians will experience a mental health problem at some time in their lives. Some mental health illnesses are treated quickly with no ongoing symptoms; however, mental illness may recur for others throughout their lives, and they will require ongoing treatment and support.
The Lived Experience Mental Illness (LEMI) program holds that every individual has the capacity to reach beyond their self-made limitations and create a new version of themselves by recognising their untapped potential.
Lived experience of mental illness is so important. Acknowledging, valuing and learning from people’s lived experiences (including how they recovered and how they continue to thrive) helps to identify and break down barriers to supporting those currently experiencing mental health challenges.
The cyclical nature of chronic and persistent mental ill health impacts an individual's core beliefs and the very essence of how they see themselves. LEMI is designed to wrap the scaffolding of unconditional support and flexibility around individuals, so that they don’t focus on their failures but rather look forward at the recovery phase out of illness, leading to a positive change in their core self-beliefs.
Peer workers will engage with people in the local community who may be at risk of mental health challenges/concerns, or those who find it difficult to access and engage with services.
The LEMI program encourages peer workers to identify an area of interest, develop a researched session plan and deliver a group program based on that interest. This enables peer workers to learn about group facilitation skills, encourage dialogue on managing mental ill health and the sharing of coping strategies, whilst developing user-friendly resources.