Implementing co-design and co-production

The CMHL recognises that to achieve its vision (to be the centrepiece for mental health learning in Victoria; leading and driving innovation that strengthens and sustains a flexible, curious, knowledgeable and recovery focused workforce) it must draw on the unique wisdom and expertise of the lived experience workforces. The Royal Commission into Victoria’s Mental Health Services, Final Report (2021), also refers to co-design or co-production in several recommendations.

We are committed to increasing our team’s understanding of co-design and co-production and had three CMHL staff complete TACSI’s new Co-Design for Mental Health Course, co-facilitated by TACSI and a consumer-perspective professional over eight weeks. We also had Athena Consumer Workforce Consulting deliver two co-design & co-production introductory workshops, followed by six monthly supervision sessions, to the entire CMHL team.

We have attempted to fully implement co-design and co-production across a few projects this year for example we created and utilised “Co-design Action Teams” (CDATs) in the Mental Health Reform Victoria Lived Experience Workforces Organisational Readiness and Placement Support Projects. In this CMHL highlight we will describe how we undertook a co-design process to develop our Lived Experience.

the Live Learn Lead Collective (the LLLC)

The Lived Experience Workforce Leadership & Collaboration Model development process began in April of 2020 when the CMHL issued an invitation for consumer and family/carer lived experience workers to participate. Twenty-nine members of the LEW participated in videoconference workshops, online surveys, video briefings and emails. Together they brought their collective wisdom, intelligence, creativity and resourcefulness to:

  • build a shared vision that captures their best hopes for the model
  • create principles, platforms and processes to test and twist
  • agree on a place to start so that we can get runs on the board and build momentum
  • identify opportunities to attract more LEW into the process
  • introduce processes that enable everyone to learn as we go and to adapt the model over time

LLLC vision

The resulting model has at its centre the Live Learn Lead Collective (LLLC), see web page here for more detail.

The CMHL has recently appointed a lived experience co-design lead to help build co-design capability in the mental health and wellbeing, and AOD sectors.


David Barclay

Consumer Workforce Development Coordinator

Lorna Downes

Family/Carer Workforce Development Coordinator

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