In 2019, the CPN was publicly recognised for the Consumer Academic Program (CAP), achieving (along with Tepou training New Zealand) a Mental Health Service of Australia and New Zealand Award in the category of Education, Training or Workforce Development for the achievement of excellence, innovation and best practice in mental health services.
The CAP is unique in the Victorian landscape as a critical mass of consumer perspective thought leaders with a diverse range of expertise including research, education and training, management, governance and service delivery. With the guidance and expertise of a senior consumer academic, the CAP has been successful in attracting small grants, consultancies, and scholarships to support consumer academic development and roles beyond the CMHN business and attracting part-time team members and research training studentships. Members of the CAP are sought after by large multidisciplinary research teams as experts in the field locally, nationally and internationally.
CAP members bring rich experiential and scholarly perspectives to CMHN initiatives as well as the drive to make practical differences in mental health service delivery and workforce capability. As an example, CPN features co-produced training for the clinical workforce on Supported Decision Making (SDM), Co-production and making each connection with consumers matter (Every Moment Counts). The CAP showcases the discipline of consumer perspective through partnerships internal to the University such as the Social Equity Institute as well as with DHHS and VMIAC, for example in the development of the Consumer Perspective Supervision Framework. The CAP has monthly discipline meetings and supervision as well as mentorship and career development support from the CMHN Director.