Building collaborative cultures of care

within NSW mental health services

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Key guiding principles for collaborative cultures

The principles of the Lived Experience Framework for NSW form the basis of collaborative cultures.330 These principles have been adopted due to:

  • the co-design process used in their development
  • strong consumer representation throughout the project, and
  • the positive approach used for people with lived experience of mental health issues.

Lived Experience Framework guiding principles

Informed by lived experience

Expertise, experience, wisdom, knowledge, compassion, and resilience of people with lived experience of mental health issues and caring, families and kinship groups is part of the structure, service design, delivery, monitoring, reporting, research, evaluation and improvement activities of all aspects of mental health and social services. This will require collaboration and true partnerships.

Flexible and agile

Mental health and social services demonstrate flexibility and agility through being willing to embrace risks, innovate and respond in a timely way. This includes being open to learning by exploring and challenging the stigmatising beliefs, assumptions, practices and culture behind what has been done before.

Transparent and accountable

Mental health and social services share, communicate, celebrate great outcomes and allow themselves to be scrutinised for the purposes of continual learning, adaptation and improvement.


Mental health and social services and the community build a focus on sustainability through knowing what is currently working well and exploring ways to enable more humane, healing, efficient and effective practice using available resources.

Continually learning

Mental health and social services are committed to continual dialogue and learning across services and systems. This includes being open and willing to work with new ideas as they emerge, regardless of who or where they come from.