Authors: Carla Taylor, Katie Larsen, Darryl Bishop
Event: 2022 TheMHS Conference
Subject: leadership, lived experience, services, research
Type of resource: Conference Presentations and Papers
Abstract: LEAD PRESENTATION: Measuring Impact: Exploring the fine line between sense-making and data collection burden
Demonstrating the impact of mental health services is a unanimous goal shared by researchers, politicians, clinicians and patients. Unfortunately, despite considerable attempts at national, regional, and program-level impact evaluations, it is still invariably difficult to draw to meaningful, and even less likely, definitive, conclusions. This presentation aims to unpick the complexity of evaluation and data collection in mental health services. By presenting a series of case studies including the Better Access scheme, national evaluations of mental health programs, and local evaluations of PHN-commissioned services, key principles of data collection and data analysis will be observed.
As researchers, data collection is seen as a cornerstone to evidence, yet as clinicians and service users, this can seem burdensome, fruitless and a waste of valuable time. We will explore programs where data collection is overly complex and intensive and discuss the implications for evaluation and service delivery. Similarly, we will consider national initiatives where data collection is sparse, and the resultant inability to provide commentary on the effectiveness of the intervention.
Positioning our data capture as simple and meaningful is the goal. To do so, basic principles of evaluation for impact measurement in mental health will be presented in a succinct and jargon-free manner. The importance of understanding cause and effect within interventions, and the manner in which qualitative reflections build a narrative of the client journey are both fundamental concepts to this presentation. We aim to navigate the complexity of story-telling about intervention success, bring evaluation back to its roots, and to find the sweet spot in data collection. In this way, our clients have enough time to tell their stories, and our programs can reliably and readily tell their own.
PANEL PRESENTATION: Lived experience leadership - whole of organisation approaches to development and reform
Future mental health systems must and will be informed by the knowledge and expertise of lived experience. Lived experience work has provided significant influence within the mental health sector to date and has been instrumental in shaping policy reforms towards the recovery agenda (Roennfeldt & Byrne 2021). However, lived experience led research clearly shows the need for more action to enable service and system improvements in innovation, accountability, quality and alternative approaches to care (Happell and Scholz 2018).
Mind has a long history of community based, recovery, human rights and lived experience led solutions. In December 2021, Mind Australia launched its first whole of organisation approach to lived experience – Mind’s Lived Experience Strategy 2021-2024. This presentation will share the key components of Mind’s approach to lived experience through an overview of the development and strategy plan including how it has engaged people with lived experience throughout and requires us to work at multiple levels of the organisation, engage different voices and experiences and deliver across multiple platforms to set new targets for growth and development. Our commitment with this strategy is to help re-imagine a system that is directly responsive to and informed by the needs of communities and the insight and expertise of lived experience.
PANEL PRESENTATION: More than electric cars - building sustainable mental health organisations
Given the increasing pressures on resources, competition for services such as ours, and the need for new solutions to established societal challenges, sustainability is a now an essential organisational platform. Mental Health organisations like all businesses need to build a sustainable future on four main fronts:
To increase business efficiency – If we reduce waste, cut down on travel time and reduce energy usage, we increase efficiency.
To improve public health – As a leading health organisation, we have to be committed to going beyond compliance. We have a duty to implement changes which will contribute to reduced emissions, better air quality and importantly to reduce our own health and safety liability.
To attract business through positive profile – We will be more attractive to funders, consumers and the community as the importance of sustainability inevitably raises its profile.
To be a trailblazer – It is not the Ember way to tick boxes; we want to apply a sustainability lens in order to thrive not survive. We want the name Ember to become synonymous with sustainable practice and energy conservation.
This means more than compost bins and electric cars. This presentation tells you about our journey towards real sustainability.