Co-producing safe, inclusive work places for mental health consumer workers

How should we change the mental health system to safely include consumer workers?

Consumer workers are an essential feature of a mental health service system that is equitable, democratic and responsive to the needs of mental health consumers. Yet they experience ongoing problems with their treatment in the workplace. While this workforce is growing in size in Victoria, there has been minimal consideration of the organisational change required to fully incorporate consumer workers in way that is safe and inclusive.

Co-produced with consumer workers, this project aims to increase the understanding of the workplace safety experiences of the consumer workforce in order to develop recommendations for organisational and systemic change.

University-based researchers

Dr Kath Sellick [Department of Social Work]

Vrinda Edan [Centre for Psychiatric Nursing]

Krystyn Smale [Department of Social Work]

A/Prof Susan Ainsworth [Department of Management and Marketing]

Cath Roper [Centre for Psychiatric Nursing]

Community Co-researchers

Susan Alvarez-Vasquez

Brendan Johnson

Rory Randall

Joanne Switserloot

Partner-based researchers

Emma Cadogan [Department of Health and Human Services]

Leading the Change: Co-producing Safe, Inclusive Workplaces for Consumer Mental Health Workers

Access the 47-page research report including the Executive Summary

Download: Download the Report (PDF)

Download: Download the Report (Word)

Leading the Change Seminar

On Wednesday 18 November, VMIAC hosted a webinar with Dr Kath Sellick and Vrinda Edan to discuss this research.

This session provided participants with the opportunity to hear from the researchers about how the project was undertaken, using principles of co-production as well as an opportunity to ask questions about and explore the results of the project.

Journal Article

Vrinda Edan, Kathryn Sellick, Susan Ainsworth, Susie Alvarez-Varquez, Brendan Johnson, Krystyn Smale, Rory Randall & Cath Roper (2021) Employed but not included: the case of consumer-workers in mental health care services, The International Journal of Human Resource Management, 32:15, 3272-3301, DOI: 10.1080/09585192.2020.1863248

For information about this project, please contact:

Dr Kath Sellick
Department of Social Work
Faculty of Medicine, Dentistry and Health Sciences
Phone +61 3 8344 7294