Authors: Carolyn Dun, VIC
Event: 2013 TheMHS Conference
Type of resource: Conference Presentations and Papers
Abstract: Driving is an important skill for many people who experience a mental illness. Mental health clinicians need to be aware that fitness to drive can be compromised by mental illness, treatment side effects and co-morbidities. However, there is limited research and literature, to assist clinicians to identify and manage driving as a risk factor with consumers during acute episodes and support licence attainment and/or maintenance during recovery. Mental health services have not yet embedded into practice or processes, the education of consumers about the impact of mental illness and treatment on driving ability. Occupational therapists identified this gap in knowledge and led practice improvement within a large clinical mental health organisation. The Drive Safe initiative involved five major strategies: (1) policy; (2) practice guidelines; (3) occupational therapy driver assessment services; (4) workforce training; (5) consumer resources. Drive Safe has been successful in achieving widespread change in clinician attitude and practice.