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Our Consumer Place

A consumer-run resource centre providing information, training, support and advice to consumer-run groups and projects.




Collective of Self-Help Groups


COSHG is a network of self-help and social action groups, made up of and controlled by people who are directly affected by a range of issues. Groups are involved in a variety of activities, such as meetings, information, phone support, producing news letters, social gatherings, advocacy and campaigns. COSHG acts as a clearinghouse for people who want to contact groups.




Victorian Mental Illness Awareness Council (VMIAC)


VMIAC is the peak Victorian non-government organisation for people who have experience with a mental illness or emotional distress. VMIAC engages in a number of activities, which include information provision, advice, mutual support and self-help, individual, group and systemic advocacy, research and evaluation, and education and training.




Victorian Mental Health Carers Network


VMHCN is the peak body for families and carers of people experiencing mental health issues in Victoria. The VMHCN represents the voice of mental health carers, and the carer workforce systemically. The VMHCN is also the auspicing body for the Carer Consultants Network of Victoria.  Their website provides access to online training for the carer workforce.




Health Issues Centre


HIC works to improve the Australian health care system by promoting consumer, family member/carer and other community participation in services. Their website provides lots of useful information for consumer and family/carer members of health service committees, as peer workers often are. (Click on 'Participate in Health')




Self Help Addiction Resource Centre


SHARC's aim is to provide opportunities for individuals, families and communities affected by addiction and related problems to recover and achieve meaningful, satisfying and contributing lives. SHARC provides housing, education, advocacy and family support to members of our community who have been impacted by the effects of alcohol and drug use. In some cases this is co-occurring with mental health and SHARC also provides support in this area. SHARC works with families, individuals and youth through a peer support model. SHARC's team consists of people with the combination of lived experience and professional expertise.





Loddon Mallee Mental Health Carers Network


The Loddon Mallee Mental Health Carers Network provides information about carer education, upcoming events and releases from government and service providers.






National Mental Health Consumer and Carer Forum


The National Mental Health Consumer and Carer Forum (NMHCCF) is the combined national voice for consumers and carers participating in the development of mental health policy and sector development in Australia.



COPMI (Children of Parents with a Mental Illness)


The COPMI national initiative develops information for parents, their partners, carers, family and friends to promote better mental health outcomes for children of parents with a mental illness.  COPMI also work with health care providers, community support groups, educators, service organisations and the media.


The website provides access to an extensive range of resources, including participation strategies and resources for organisations to engage consumers and carers.  The COPMI National Lived Experience Forum aims to engage people with lived experience (consumers and carers) and use their experiences and perspectives to inform the planning, implementing and evaluation of the COPMI national initiative.






PeerZone is a series of peer-led workshops where people explore recovery and whole of life wellbeing. PeerZone is a great practice tool for peer workers and a personal development opportunity for people with mental distress who use services.  Developed in New Zealand by Mary O’Hagan and Sara McCook-Weir, and launched in Australia in 2012, PeerZone trains and support peers to facilitate workshops within organisations.




Mental Health in Multicultural Australia (MHiMA)


The Mental Health in Multicultural Australia (MHiMA) project aims to build capacity across multicultural mental health and suicide prevention sectors by strategic alignment with national initiatives and engaging with each state and territory.  Their website contains a range of resources on mental health in culturally and linguistically diverse communities, including information translated into community languages.




Other Australian states

Peer Work Project


Baptist Care (South Australia) and MIFSA began this Peer Work Project in 2005. The project aims to support peer workers and the organisations that employ peer workers.The focus of the project is to:


  • Support organisations in the recruitment, organisational preparation, training and support of peer workers.
  • Support peer workers by offering training, assistance in finding a suitable peer work position and workplace support.




Brook RED Centre


The Brook RED Centre is a  Peer Operated Service in Brisbane. It provides a range of activities and supports for people who identify as having or having had a personal experience of a mental health concern or illness or has used mental health services for their own need. The Brook RED Centre has embraced Shery Mead's Intentional Peer Support Approach to service delivery.




inside out and associates


Inside out and associates is a Sydney-based organisation committed to providing opportunities to better understand the experience of extreme states and of mental distress, and what this means for people experiencing distress as well as family, community and service system responses to supporting people through these experiences.  Inside out provides training, events and resources for anyone interested in mental health and recovery, regardless of background, training and experience. 





Mind & Body Consultants (Aotearoa/New Zealand)

A consumer-led organisation and early pioneer in peer support, Mind & Body Consultants provide peer support services, deliver the Certificate in Peer Support, employ consumer advisors and have carried out research on peer support. They are also a provider of the national 'Like Minds, Like Mine' program which works to reduce the stigma and discrimination associated with mental distress.



Te Pou (Aotearoa/New Zealand)


New Zealand's National Centre of Mental Health Research, Information and Workforce Development. Includes information on development of the service user workforce, the New Zealand Peer Support Network and the Certificate in Peer Support (Mental Health).



Intentional Peer Support (USA)


Sherry Mead developed the model of Intentional Peer Support (IPS). Her website (mentalhealthpeers.com) includes access to her articles, information about her books and a web-based e-learning course.  The IPS website was launched in 2013 and also includes newsletters, updates, training information and resources.




Peers for Progress


The mission of Peers for Progress is to accelerate the availability of best practices in peer support around the world.  Peers for Progress is designed to demonstrate the value of peer support, extend the evidence base for such interventions, help establish peer support as an accepted, core component of health care, and promote peer support programs and networks around the world.




Georgia Certified Peer Specialist Project (USA)


Provides information about certification training, ongoing support and continuing education provided to consumer peer workers in Georgia. Includes a job description and Code of Ethics for peer workers.



National Association of Peer Specialists (USA)


An organisation dedicated to promoting peer specialists throughout the United States.



National Empowerment Center (USA)


A consumer/survivor/expatient-run organisation whose mission is to carry a message of recovery, empowerment, hope and healing to people with lived experience with mental health issues, trauma and extreme states.