Authors: Valerie Williams, TAS
Event: 2001 TheMHS Conference
Subject: book of proceedings, Consumer Roles, Advocacy, The challenges of collaboration, TASMANIA, LOCKED WARD
Type of resource: Conference Presentations and Papers
Abstract: The Ward 7 Patients' Group Evaluation presents a rights based model for management and staff of mental health facilities wanting to offer patients/clients/residents access to a true consumer forum. The model is one of equal partnership between staff and residents based on differing roles. It uses the reality of power imbalances to create an environment in which residents are able to effect immediate and positive changes in their daily lives while changing staff attitudes towards client rights through practical application, beyond mere rhetoric. The model was developed to satisfy the National Standards for Mental Health Services requirements for meaningful consumer participation for clients accommodated in MHS facilities.
Ward 7 was the locked ward of the Royal Derwent Hospital, Tasmania's state psychiatric hospital. Built in 1824, it was Australia's oldest "mental asylum" when it closed its doors in February, 2001. The mental health advocate developed a model of participation and consultation for the acute and chronic clients of Ward 7. The two year project demonstrated the value of partnership between the advocate and the clinical nurse consultant of Ward 7, the advocate and staff, residents and staff and culminated in the paper to be presented to the conference. The paper offers a blue print for positive practical changes in a resident's environment, effective now while at the same time fostering attitudinal changes in both staff and residents.