Recovery-Oriented Practice In Mental Health – Education Strategies For Real Change

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Authors: Anna Farrell and Kath Thorburn, NSW

Year: 2008

Event: 2008 TheMHS Conference

Subject: RESEARCH, EVALUATION, QUALITY IMPROVEMENT, Community, Clinicians and Education

Type of resource: Conference Presentations and Papers

ISBN: 9780975765340

Abstract: This paper will focus on a comprehensive education and supervision strategy implemented by Greater Southern Area Health Service and the NSW Institute of Psychiatry. The program was offered to rehabilitation workers from the AHS and local NGOs reflecting a commitment to sustainable partnerships between these sectors. It also provided an opportunity to address issues of work satisfaction and staff retention in a rural service. The program focussed on recovery-oriented practice in rehabilitation. Recovery represents a paradigm shift for mental health services, requiring us to consider what this means for workforce development and education. The question of how to “teach” recovery-oriented practice raises a dilemma. In the same way that we can’t “do” recovery for others, we can’t teach people how to “do” recovery-oriented work. Teaching recovery-oriented practice requires less focus on knowledge and skills and more on core beliefs, values and attitudes. This paper will discuss:

• What approaches to learning are effective for recovery-oriented practice?
• How do people experience this learning and which approaches are more helpful?
• To what extent are staff able to make real changes to their practice as a result of this training and what aspects of their workplace were found to support change?

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