What is Consumer Participation?
Consumer participation is the process of ensuring that programs, services, policies and systems are well designed through taking on board the views of those with lived experience of mental health issues.
This happens through a range of methods, such as
Research and consultation (such as surveys and forums)
Consumer Representatives within services
Co-Leadership of services and systems by people with lived experience.
Consumer participation is essential to ensuring quality, driving best practice and keeping services centred on how to best support good outcomes for people.
Participation is enshrined in state and federal standards in order to ensure services meet our human rights and our rights to safe, quality support.’Consumer participation’ is also a term used in general health care settings to engage people who have experience of health services (see Health Consumers Council WA website).
Consumer Representatives: Frequently Asked Questions
Consumer Representatives are employed on a paid or voluntary basis to represent the views of consumers within formal settings, such as on service committees of Consumer Advisory Groups.
CoMHWA and Consumer Participation
CoMHWA’s key consumer participation activities include:
Consumer Consultation: We seek the views of and work collaboratively with our members and networks to bring an informed and inclusive perspective on consumer issues.
Consumer Representation: We directly represent the views of mental health consumers in state-wide service and systemic level mental health service and policy settings.
Coordinating Consumer Participation: We offer consumer participation design and recruit, coordinate and support Consumer Representatives on behalf of services and agencies.
Promotion and Support: We offer free advertising of consumer participation opportunities in our newsletter, and offer relevant training to consumers and services.