Authors: Craig Parsons, NSW and Marion Kennedy, SA
Event: 2007 TheMHS Conference
Subject: Choice and Risk, DIGNITY OF RISK; RECOVERY; SELF-DETERMINATION.
Type of resource: Conference Presentations and Papers
Abstract: As part of mental health reform, the South Australian and New South Wales health departments have conducted assessments of consumers living in long stay institutional care. The aim of this process has been to identify the rehabilitation and support needs of consumers moving from institutional care to community living. This presentation explores the conflict that can often arise between the aspirations and hopes that consumers have for community living and the concerns of carers and service providers around risk issues. Dignity of risk supports consumers to be self determining in their accommodation, physical health and other lifestyle choices. Self determination in these domains can create tensions between service providers and consumers – often with service providers holding the view that consumers will be been left to ‘rot in their rights’ or be ‘allowed’ to make poor choices. Relapse is sometimes viewed as unsuccessful community tenure rather than part of the recovery continuum. Consumers were clear about their preferences: a significant majority wanted supported independent accommodation. The identified support and rehabilitation needs were also consistent, in line with other research. The challenge for service providers is to embrace supported risk within a recovery paradigm. The challenge for consumers is to assert their right to take supported risks. A scenario will be discussed with the consumer de-identified.