Peer Health Coaching is an initiative to improve the physical health of people experiencing mental health issues. Participants identify a physical health goal to work on as part of their recovery. Experienced peer workers, trained to become Peer Health Coaches, provide six one-hour sessions that can be delivered as a one-on-one or group program. SANE Australia partnered with Neami National to conduct a three-year pilot in Hurstville and Wollongong in NSW and in Heidelberg in Victoria, examining the effectiveness and impact of Peer Health Coaching on people’s health and wellbeing. The program is now available more widely.
Consumers of mental health services have long been the subjects of mental health research. Putting qualified consumer researchers in positions of leadership and influence is increasingly being mandated by research and funding bodies and a number of universities in Australia and around world are getting involved in consumer led research. In NSW, members of the Consumer Led Research Network have been meeting since October 2014. The Network has provided an ongoing mechanism to develop collaborative partnerships between members, and strengthen the capacity of both consumer researchers and consumer led research in NSW. The Network can be contacted via its Facebook page. It is a closed group so you will need to send a request to join.