Authors: Rosie Frankish and Beth Fogerty, VIC
Event: 2017 TheMHS Conference
Type of resource: Conference Presentations and Papers
Abstract: Support in mental health services often defaults to ‘formal support’ which is provided by a trained mental health worker. Formal supports, however, are only one type of support. Informal support structures such as the neighbour who greets us each morning are often overlooked as a significant support, however can have a positive impact on an individual’s life, and in some regards have a greater impact than formal or paid supports. It is through the identification and nurturing of these natural supports that individuals can be more engaged in their communities and build hope in their recovery through positive interactions with others. Wellways’ Doorway Housing and Recovery Support Program has a focus on the identification, building and nurturing of natural supports within the program model, this is supported by the use of outcome measures which quantify the efficacy of this approach on participants’ lives. This paper will highlight the Doorway Program’s strategies to support participants to identify, build and nurture natural supports. De-identified case studies will be used to demonstrate the three stages of natural support development and how these have contributed towards positive outcomes for participants within the Doorway Program.