Using lived experiences to inspire those struggling with their mental health

There is a certain power behind our peer workers that allows them to harness their own lived experiences to support others and foster hope for a brighter tomorrow.

Brett Casey and Stephen Curmi are two of Peninsula Health’s peer workers who are playing an active role in helping those with mental health challenges gain the confidence needed to undergo their recovery.

During the past four years, Brett and Stephen have become vital members of the Community Mental Health team, which is committed to supporting better mental health outcomes.

“Following my own experience with mental ill health and recovery, I decided to use my experiences to support other people with their own recovery,” Stephen said.

Peer workers play a valuable role at Peninsula Health, helping to support patients through their recovery.  Our peer workers are influential in providing people with the tools they need to recovery well, decreasing the need for hospitalisation.

They help people to consider new ways of thinking, seeing and doing by sharing their own experiences and empowering mutual learning. For example, sharing strategies used in their own recovery journey to support discussion with consumers about their own unique strategies and goals.

 “I love working alongside people during their recovery and seeing them achieve their goals,” Stephen said. “I am proud to contribute to systematic changes within the service that result in better outcomes and service experiences for our clients and careers.”

For Brett, working with consumers allows him to create a place where they can look inside themselves and take that insight into the world to lead a positive and fulfilling life.

Brett initially applied for a different role but was asked to consider a peer worker role within the Intensive Treatment Team (ITT) where he has developed his skills and become a trusted and valued team member.

“I think with the collective lived experience we all have we can help those who access the service to continue their recovery.”

Peer workers are a powerful source of inspiration and through sharing their personal experiences they are able to establish strong connections with consumers who access the service. The care we provide is greatly improved through the work of Brett, Stephen and all of our peer workers in the Community Mental Health team.

For more information on how to access a peer worker, please contact our Consumer Consultant on 0435 633 353 or our Family/Carer Consultant on 0435 633 357

If you or someone you know is experiencing mental illness, you can contact Peninsula Health’s Mental Health Triage Service 24 hours a day, seven days a week on 1300 792 977.

You can also call Lifeline on 13 11 14.