Mental Health Lived Experience Peak Queensland
Mental Health Lived Experience Peak Queensland (MHLEPQ) is the new mental health consumer representative peak organisation for Queensland. Once fully operational, MHLEPQ will provide policy advice and system advocacy that represents the common interests of mental health consumers of all ages across Queensland.
MHLEPQ is governed by a board of seven directors, led by interim Chief Executive Officer (CEO), Jorgen Gullestrup, with the assistance of Policy Director, Rebecca Bear, and Engagement Leads, Elloise Waite and Tim Johnston.
The Queensland Mental Health Commission oversaw the project to establish MHLEPQ since early 2020. Read more about MHLEPQ’s history below.
MHLEPQ was registered as an independent company with charitable status in July 2021. The Queensland Mental Health Commission’s will continue to support MHLEPQ for a period of 12 months as part of an Auspice Agreement.
With the Commission’s support, MHLEPQ is working through a series of establishment and set-up activities in preparation for its official launch.
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Project to establish Mental health Consumer Representative Peak Queensland
Back in 2018 and 2019, Queensland Health commissioned a series of consultations to inform the development of a new mental health consumer representative peak organisation. This included a consultation by Health Consumers Queensland (HCQ) with people with a lived experience of mental ill-health, their carers and families.
A report from this consultation with recommendations for a new mental health representative peak organisation to be auspiced by the Queensland Mental Health Commission was submitted to Queensland Health in April 2019.
Queensland Health subsequently committed to funding the establishment of a new mental health consumer representative peak organisation and invited Queensland Mental Health Commission to manage all aspects of implementation.
On 4 February 2020, Queensland Health and the Queensland Mental Health Commission announced they would be working together to bring the new organisation to life in 2021.
The Queensland Government is committed to ensuring the voices of people with a lived experience of mental ill-health are heard at all levels of the mental health system.
The establishment of the mental health consumer representative peak organisation aligned with key state and national strategic frameworks, including:
- The Queensland Government’s Shifting minds Strategic Plan 2018-2023 – which identifies engaging people with lived experience as equal partners in policy, planning and governance as a strategic priority for whole-of-system improvement
- Queensland Health’s Connecting Care to Recovery 2016–2021 – which has a key focus on lived experience engagement and participation in policy; and
- The Fifth National Mental Health and Suicide Prevention Plan – which states that “consumers and carers should be at the centre of, and enabled to take an active role in shaping, the way in which services are planned, delivered and evaluated”.
The Commission recruited a lived experience project team to manage all aspects of establishing the mental health consumer representative peak organisation.
The project to establish the new mental health consumer representative peak was governed by a project steering committee co-chaired by a person with lived experience and the Queensland Mental Health Commissioner.
The majority of the project steering committee members had lived experience. Learn more about the committee and their experiences here.
The Committee met ten times between 2020 and 2021 to make decisions about the governance and structure of the mental health consumer representative peak organisation. After each meeting, a communique was produced.
The Committee’s work was wrapped up after the final meeting in June 2021.
The establishment of the mental health consumer representative peak body was guided by co-design principles.
This included using the lived experience-led reform work the Commission has already championed under the Stretch2Engage Framework and the Queensland Framework for the Development of the Mental Health Lived Experience Workforce, along with other relevant state and national resources.
The project to establish and auspice the new mental health consumer representative peak is being evaluated by lived experience evaluator, Jo Farmer, from Jo Farmer Consulting. The findings of the evaluation will be published in 2022.