Rising Together - Lifting the Lid on the Experiences of Family/Carer Workers in Mental Health
This co-produced research project, funded by CMHL, seeks to understand the experiences of the family/carer lived experience workers employed in mental health services in Victoria. The areas of focus include the workplace conditions of family/carer workers, degrees of inclusion within the workplace, and the impact of the work and organisational culture on family/carer workers.
With the impending changes to the family/carer workforce as a result of the recommendations from the Royal Commission into Victoria’s Mental Health Services, this project aims to hear from family/carer workers about their experiences and their ideas for promoting the development and strengthening of environments which support family/carer workers to perform and thrive in their roles. The Rising Together Research is coproduced by the Family/Carer Workforce Action Group (FCWAG) which is comprised of University of Melbourne academics, CMHL Family/Carer Workforce Development Coordinator, family/carer workers employed as co-researchers and a Tandem representative.
The Rising Together project builds on the coproduction approach taken by the Leading the Change project team. This Rising Together approach prioritises utilising the strengths and expertise of the family/carer lived experience workforce as well as building research skills and capability. Attention is given to power and addressing power imbalances are through transparency and democratising the work. The Rising Together FCWAG uses a digital noticeboard called Padlet to enable information gathering, organising and sharing and support collaborative decision-making.
University of Melbourne academics have been learning about the family/carer workforce from those with family/carer lived experience workforce expertise, and carer co-researchers have learned or deepen their understanding about research ethics, different approaches to research, and the use of research tools such as Qualtrics and NVivo. The carer co-researchers are highly motivated by a desire to share their learning about coproduced research with the sector and so have presented about the approach taken in this project to the CLEW, have submitted abstracts for conferences presentations and have created a website to promote the research and share about the approaches taken.
The Rising Together team will hold a forum with family/carer lived experience workers to share our provisional findings and shape the recommendations, including recommendations about how to disseminate our findings. The team will also produce a report and seek to publish in academic journals.
Lived and Living Experience Workforces Instructional Designer