Consumer Participation Framework

Strengthening the consumer voice

What is the Consumer Participation Framework?

The Consumer Participation Framework is aimed at Mental Health and Addictions services and staff to help them to understand what consumer participation is and to explore ways to effectively facilitate consumer engagement/participation in all levels of the organisation.

This framework has been developed to strengthen the consumer voice in Mental Health and Addictions service delivery by ensuring that people with lived experience of mental health and/or addictions are involved in the planning, implementation and evaluation of Mental Health and Addictions services at all levels. 

The framework is grounded in the 10 principles of Te Ara Tauwhirotanga – Pathways that lead us to act with kindness which is the model of care for MH&A services in our region.

The focus areas are the three levels of an organisation that consumer participation will occur:

  • Direct Care
  • Service Design and Delivery
  • Governance Strategy and Policy Development

The continuum of consumer participation describes what engagement will look like at each level of the organisation and how this relates to Te Tiriti o Waitangi. 

For example – Partnership and Shared Leadership is considered the gold standard for consumer engagement at all levels of the organisation. 

At the Direct Care level, “treatment and care decisions are made together based on the consumer’s preferences, medical evidence and clinical judgement”. 

The overall vision for this framework is to ensure that the lived experience voice is valued and respected.

Specific themes from Te Ara Tauwhirotanga have been used to demonstrate how services can achieve this.

There are many local, regional and national documents that discuss the importance of and guide effective consumer participation. 

These have been summarised and collated to outline what consumer participation looks like (or means) at each level of the organisation, what the benefits are for consumers and for staff and the organisation, what barriers there may be and how these could possibly be overcome.

The Framework includes a list of resources that may be of some use to services and to staff if they want to know more about consumer participation at a systemic level.

Click here to download the Consumer Participation Framework.