Authors: Jeremy Le Roux, Kerrie Clarke
Event: 2018 TheMHS Conference
Subject: Recommended Reading: Peer Support Work in Public Mental Health: Don't see me as my diagnosis (or illness) and I won't think of you as a clinician
Type of resource: Conference Presentations and Papers
Peer support work in public mental health: Don't see me as my diagnosis and I won't think of you as a clinician. The landscape of public mental health services is changing. Traditionally, boundaries between staff with a lived experience of mental illness and mental health clinicians have been rigid and inflexible. However, with the recent changes to the Victorian Mental Health Act (2014), and the growth of the lived experience workforce, these boundaries are being challenged. In order to remain relevant, we need to think differently about the way clinicians, peer support workers, and consumers navigate multiple relationships. This paper tells the story of a ‘whisper’ of change in a public mental health setting in Melbourne, Australia, and provides an example of where traditional boundaries between a ‘peer support worker’ and ‘clinician’ have been transcended. Through the use of role play/multimedia and discussion we will demonstrate the benefits of negotiating multiple relationships in the workplace. Our story highlights the rewards that come from confronting discomfort, risks, vulnerabilities, the relinquishing and attaining of power involved in the development of new relationships and friendships in the landscape of public mental health services. We will draw on Intentional Peer Support principles as a framework and demonstrate how these principles can be used by others navigating multiple relationships in their workplace.
HOW TO REFERENCE THIS PAPER
Le Roux, J, Clarke, K, "Peer Support Work in Public Mental Health: Don't see me as my diagnosis (or illness) and I won't think of you as a clinician" (2018), Hear the Whisper, Not the Roar Contemporary TheMHS in Mental Health Services, Adelaide Conference Proceedings 2018, TheMHS Conference, Adelaide, Australia