Authors: Bayside Initiatives Group Inc. and Southside District Health Service - Bayside
Event: 2007 TheMHS Awards
Type of resource: TheMHS Awards
Award state: Q:D
Award level: Finalist
Award category: Consumer Provided Services
Abstract: Consumer Companion Project – Southside District Health Service, Bayside The Consumer Companion Project’s purpose is to support consumers of the acute inpatient unit of bayside inpatient unit of Bayside Mental Health Services during their admission, orientation and discharge processes. The project is a peer support service that acknowledges the value of lived experience in recognising the negative experiences of living with a mental illness. By using lived experiences and personal stories we can empower others to move towards self-directed recovery by offering hope, inspiration, role modelling and self-determination. Living with mental illness does not have to be negative experience and a person’s journey through recovery can be enriching and valuable experience. The consumer companion programme challenges the stigma of the stereotypical person with mental illness when the person is destined to hopelessness and dependency. The consumer companions working alongside the mental health staff transforms the mental health service and adds a valuable dimension to service delivery Description of Facility/Organisation: Bayside Initiatives Group Inc. is a consumer initiative programme focussed on helping to empower Mental Health consumers by developing social networks; providing direction for mental health programmes and services; and raising community awareness of mental health issues. Consumer companions are employed by the bayside Initiative group. They actively represent as consumer consultants on various meetings/forums at Bayside Mental Health. Southside District Health Service- Bayside Mental Health is principally a state government funded secondary mental health service, with some additional funding from commonwealth programmes. It services a population of 170.000. It has a budget of $13 million, 740 clients, 130 staff and 23 beds inpatient unit. It provides services across all age spectrums. The service has a number of key partnerships with NGOs and government agencies.