Flourish’s Consumer Representative Service (CRS) was established with Tasmanian government support to formalise the participation of mental health consumers in the Tasmanian Government’s mental health system, especially in decision-making fora such as working groups and committees. This ensures that the voice of lived experience is heard and understood at all levels of the Tasmanian Mental Health Service.
The CRS also provides mental health consumer representation for the Australian Government (through Primary Health Tasmania) and for community-run and private mental health service providers, on a fee-for-service basis.
The CRS receives numerous requests for consumer representation. These outline the specific role of for which consumer representation is sought. Roles may be short term (a single meeting or event) or long term (participation in a committee that meets numerous times). Requests are distributed to Flourish’s Consumer Representatives, who submit an Expression of Interest to the CRS Coordinator. The Coordinator matches the EOIs to the Requests.
Consumer Representatives receive an honorarium for each role they take on.
Consumer Representatives are people who draw upon their own personal lived experience of mental ill-health and recovery to deeply understand and articulate experiences of loss of identity, marginalisation, exclusion and feelings of powerlessness that are common to many mental health consumers. They use their understanding to benefit others, by working collaboratively with state mental health services and other mental health service providers and by contributing to ongoing systemic reform.
The work of Flourish’s Consumer Representatives is informed not only by their personal lived experience, but by collective experiences and perspectives that are tied to common values and principles of the consumer movement and shaped by the broader Lived Experience Workforce. Flourish’s Consumer Representatives gain awareness of collective consumer perspectives through their contact with Flourish’s staff and Members.
Consumer Representatives receive induction and initial training upon joining the CRS. They receive ongoing mentoring and support from the CRS Coordinator.
Specific duties of a Consumer Representative role vary according to demand, preference, skills and experience. Types of duties which may be the subject of a Consumer Representative request are:
The first stage is to become a Flourish member by filling out an application form via email, or contacting us on (03) 6223 1952 if you’d like an application form mailed to you. Flourish Membership is free.
Once you are a Member, contact the Consumer Representative Service Coordinator to express your interest in becoming a Flourish Consumer Representative.
Flourish Consumer Representatives offer perspectives and insights based on personal lived experience of mental illness, and informed by collective views and principles of mental health consumers.
To request engagement of a consumer representative, download and fill out a request form then send it through to firstname.lastname@example.org