Authors: Beth Bailey and Kathryn Weedon, VIC
Event: 2005 TheMHS Conference
Subject: St Vincent’s Mental Health Service (Melbourne).
Type of resource: Conference Presentations and Papers
Abstract: Experience tells us that the consumer perspective and the carer perspective are frequently different; it is important that both perspectives are actively incorporated within mental health staff education. Carefully planned joint consumer and carer education sessions are an innovative and effective method of sharing consumer and carer insights. Historically, education has been provided in separate sessions by consumers and carers. The challenge is to develop new ways of capturing attention to important issues. This article reports on two innovative education initiatives that were provided to mental health staff at St Vincent’s Mental Health Service (Melbourne). The authors describe selection of two challenging issues, confidentiality and understanding compliance. The impact of using role play to illustrate key issues and differing views is explored in the first initiative. Secondly, in an inpatient setting, a consumer and his mother discuss influential factors that promoted recovery for the young man and support for the family. Staff reactions to these innovative approaches are reported.