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Consumer Participation

Neami ensures that the people who use Neami services are given a voice to guide and develop the organisation. As a community managed mental health service, this voice is highly valued because it reflects the needs of the community.

People experiencing mental health issues who access our services have a perspective that enriches how they are delivered and Neami provides opportunities for consumers to participate in a variety of ways.

Genuine participation of consumers across all areas of Neami is supported by the Consumer Participation Framework. This framework sets out the principles and processes that guide the way Neami works together with consumers.

Values such as respect, self-determination, empowerment and partnership give shape to consumer participation, and diversity is key to capturing the variety of perspectives. Consumers are not a homogenous group and include people from different educational, cultural and employment backgrounds, genders and different mental health needs.

Examples of consumer participation include leadership and education programs, committee membership, focus groups, policy and procedure development, and evaluation of services. Also, at several sites in New South Wales and Victoria, staff and consumers recently came together to co-produce Consumer Participation site plans.

Current particpation opportunties

Consumer participation approach

We have a strong commitment to best practice in consumer participation and leadership. This commitment is realised through opportunities and collaboration at all levels of our organisation.

The questions that guide us are:

  • Clear purpose 
    What is the reason for consumer input? Has the person been involved in developing the project? What is the timeframe?

  • Training and support 
    Do people require training and support? Has a contact person been identified for orientation and ongoing support? 

  • Accessibility 
    Does each consumer understand the decision making process involved with their participation? When will they receive follow-up about the outcomes? Has their participation been appropriately acknowledged?

  • Remuneration 
    Are people being paid for orientation and preparation as well as direct contact time? 

  • Community pathways 
    Will participation increase the skills and confidence of participants? Will it lead to future opportunities in the community?

Internal participation opportunities
  • Complaints and Feedback Process
  • Health Prompt Launches
  • Communications Working Group
  • Consumer Participation Expert Working Group
  • Youth Working Group
  • Research and Evaluation Committee
  • Peer Health Coaching Steering Group
  • Northern Region Youth Working Group
  • Risk Assessment Working Group
  • Collaborative Recovery Model (CRM) Fidelity Study
  • Health Prompt Evaluation Review
  • Launching Pad Leadership Program
  • Eat Plant Learn Evaluation
  • Co-Facilitation of the Eat Plant Learn Program
  • Neami Policies and Procedures Review
  • NEMA NDIS Communications Steering Committee
External participation opportunities
  • Planning of the Activ8 program in collaboration with Banyule Community Health
  • North East Mental Health Alliance Working Party Showcase
  • Logo design for the Victorian Mental Health Complaints Commission
  • EMHSCA Collaborative Care Planning training
  • Attendance at ‘Combobulate’ Information and Planning Session
  • Attending the Day to Day Living Conference
  • Oral Health Project
  • Partners in Recovery Launch
  • Eastern Metropolitan Region Shared Care Partnerships Working Group
  • Speaker on Parenting and Navigating the Mental Health System at Showcase on Families
Training to Support Consumer Participation

Launching Pad is a four-day training and capacity building course that focuses on building skills to support you to effectively engage in consumer participation opportunities within Neami, and in the broader community. 

Launching Pad has been developed and is delivered by staff with a lived experience of recovery and has been tailored to accommodate different levels of prior experience and knowledge, supporting people to make informed choices about their participation.

Launching Pad

Find out more

If you would like to register your interest in consumer participation opportunities and Launching Pad in your State please speak with your support worker.


Pictured: Lona

'The growth that I've had, I've been able to share back. I've been encouraged to share my story of recovery with others.'
Consumer participant comment