Metro North Mental Health Consumer and Carer Engagement Final Co-Design Workshop

Closed 22 Aug 2019

Opened 9 Aug 2019

Feedback updated 2 Oct 2019

We asked

We asked how could we improve consumer and carer engagement and partnership.  We wanted to look at different models and approaches to engagement within a mental health service context.   

We also asked for your reflections on and confidence in the process itself. 

You said

You said that consumer and carer engagement needed to be:

  • honest
  • realistic
  • collaborative
  • flexible
  • inclusive
  • fit-for-purpose and purposeful

There needed to be accountability for engagement, a proactive approach and based on our organisation's values.   Consumer and carer engagement needed to support an independent consumer voice, as distinct from a peer / lived experience workforce. 

  • Two clear paths for engagement were determined: a collective community of consumer and carer partners and an extended peer workforce.   
  • Four ideas were prioirtised along these paths:a register of lived experience for on and offline purposeful consumer and carer engagement; consumer educator role; and strengthened carer partnership and an expanded peer workforce. 
  • Three other areas that cut across are:community partnerships; platform for lived experience stories; and building capacity of carers and consumers to participate.   
  • All of these elements rely on, build and reinforce organisational culture and capability. 

Feedback was collected in survey and in a feedback form at all workshop with many expressing appreciation of the mix of voices and perspectives, the importance of  interactions and participation of Executives (although this did not happen at all workshops, the support of Executives at the final workshop was noted), participants felt that their ideas were listened to

  • From the first four workshops which were focused on idea generation, 75% of participants said they were either confident or very confident that their involvement will inform MNMH’s approach.  The rest were either uncertain or not confident. 
  • From the final workshop, where voting for ideas took place, the confidence level was the same.  

Positive comments included: 

“I found today's meeting valuable, insightful and meaningful”.  

“Great collaborative approach”,

“innovative approach””,

“very productive”, 

“Thank you for listening and being interested” 

“Relevant, open conversation with a broad range of voices”


Negative:  “Based on previous experience (not MNMH) where the system decides what to do based on budget.

We also heard through other feedback and channels that there were concerns about the findings being translated into practice and being acted on.  

We asked what was most valuable to the co-design process. Below are some of the comments:

"The depth of input each participant can provide. That everyone is heard and can make themselves heard. That people can seize opportunities to participate. Getting away from the "they didn't do this or that..." ie all participants are now "they"

"The opportunity for my voice as a consumer to be heard. To be able to provide feedback and ideas on how to move forward."

"People coming together and having a say and some control over how services will be delivered in the future."

We did

Based on the reports and findings of each of five workshops, and Consultation Hub Surveys completed, we have developed a new framework for consumer and carer engagement that addresses the findings and captures all the principles and priorities identified.  To ensure that this framework is turned into practice, an implementation plan has been developed that outlines areas and pathways for rapid progress, as well as longer-term planning.    Work to date undertake includes:

  • a register (my "ROLE") with an EOI developed and promoted
  • discussions and planning with e-health and IT department to develop a system that better supports staff with bringing consumers and carers on board for discrete projects
  • initiate a mental health literacy project focusing on shared decision making and involving family and carers
  • working with ED Access and Coordination on feasibility of integrating a Carer's app to improve support for carers
  •  determining collaboration with PHN and Carer's Qld and shared agenda on supporting carers and developing tools and mechanisms for lived experience speakers
  • consultation and submission of a SEED innnovation grant to fund, trial and evaluate a Lived Experience Educator role in Metro North Mental Health 
  • a number of presentations of the co-design project upcoming (QUT Design for Healthcare, Metro North Safety & Quality, PPIMS network, Metro North Consumer Engagement annual showcase) with reflections of lessons from the co-design process to share with others, and build co-design practice. 


Metro North Mental Health embarked on a co-design process with consumers, carers, clincians, Executives and partners to develop a new model of consumer and carer engagement and partnership for Metro North Mental Health.   The co-design process was initiated at the conclusion of the Metro North Mental Health Consumer and Carer Engagement Group in 2018, and aimed to come up with a new way of engaging and partnering.   

The fifth and final workshop was an opportunity for all participants to come together and vote on the range of ideas that were raised, and further consider how to translate  these ideas into practice .  This survey is an opportunity to provide feedback on the final workshop and on the co-design process overall. 

Your responses are anonymous.  


  • Partner organisations
  • Community members
  • Metro North HHS Staff - including contractors and students
  • Consumers / patients


  • Staff survey
  • Audit
  • Community feedback
  • Consumer feedback