Authors: Margaret Cook and Michelle Rowe, WA
Event: 2014 TheMHS Conference
Subject: book of proceedings 2014
Type of resource: Conference Presentations and Papers
Abstract: A number of professionals and practitioners banded together with a vision to create a space where the oft overlooked intersection of mental health and child protection could be viewed. Experience shows many child protection cases involve mental health in the family. The symposium sought to shine the spotlight on this area, providing a mental health context to better understand child protection, and to focus attention on what collectively could be done to start to address this. This paper considers the approach undertaken to introduce this symposium. Delivered by two professional consumer consultants, it opened the space for both practitioners and consumers alike to engage in the discussion. This was possible by the adoption of an appreciative inquiry (AI) approach using the images of the children's author Shaun Tan. This had the effect of disarming the audience, drawing them into a compelling and confronting space. In essence then, the introduction provided the opportunity for praxis – application of AI to the domains of mental health and child protection.