Authors: Fay Jackson, Paula Hanlon, Tina McGlinn, Fi Peel, Emma Paino, Puneet Sansanwal, Kate Anderson, Jemima Isbester, Holly Kemp, Jennifer Greenham, Brenda Happell
Event: 2022 TheMHS Conference
Subject: reform, peer work, services, spirituality, diversity
Type of resource: Conference Presentations and Papers
Abstract: PANEL PRESENTATION: The Strength in Vulnerability
Fay Jackson, Paula Hanlon, Tina McGlinn
Mental health services understand that Peer Workers’ mutual and purposeful sharing of lived experiences, vulnerabilities and emotions builds therapeutic relationships with people they support.
However, people in managerial and leadership positions are expected to show only traits that are traditionally perceived as being conducive to strength and power. Traits such as lack of emotion, obvious self-confidence, expansive vocabularies as well as being strategic thinkers, visionaries and being well educated in their fields, give an air of leadership and strength. For managers, executives and leaders to show emotions or share vulnerabilities in meetings or when giving speeches is often seen as being weak, not being in control, not being capable to lead teams or services.
This presentation argues that what has traditionally been seen as weaknesses, are strengths in all leadership roles, especially lived experience leadership roles. Traits such as purposefully expressing vulnerabilities, showing emotions, sharing lived experience to demonstrate points, educate and connect ideas and people should be seen as strengths in leadership roles.
Presenters will share examples of when vulnerability is a strength and invite the audience to change the narrative about what are strengths in leaders and not limit this new way of thinking to lived experience roles.
PANEL PRESENTATION: The Role of Lived Experience NDIS Service Navigation Leadership in Fostering Recovery and Restoring Hope
Fi Peel, Emma Paino
Innovative translation of trauma-informed organisational strategy into quality service delivery is crucial to sustaining the practice of fostering self-determined recovery outcomes and restoration of agency for NDIS participants. A growing body of anecdotal evidence indicates a jarring disconnect between the pursuit of these goals and experiences of direct service delivery (Hancock & Smith-Merry, 2020). The Communities of Collaboration podcast which explores diverse non-clinical approaches to mental health service delivery by interviewing lived experience leaders in the mental health reform sector, was originally intended to be a small project building upon existing skillsets of and self-funded by podcast executive producer, host and NDIS participant Fi Peel, but also served to reveal continued flaws in the NDIS design which then adversely affected the longevity of the project and further impacted participant recovery outcomes. These personal anecdotes, coupled with emerging governmental and academic evidence demonstrates that: (1) where unidentified “attitudinal barriers” (UN CRPD, 2006) are created by provider perceptions of “psychosocial disability” and (2) where NDIS design of the delivery of sole-trader provider services remain unregulated, recovery-oriented service delivery principles are weakened (AHMAC, 2013) and already vulnerable participants to are exposed to potential exploitation that runs counter to NDIS values. It will be argued that in creating a specific Peer Worker line item that does not dilute the efficacy of evidence-based lived experience non-clinical approaches essential for achieving desired NDIS capacity building outcomes of choice and control for participants in tandem with regulatory changes to sole-trader provider expectations; and guided by both the Lived Experience (Peer) Workforce Development Guidelines (NMHC, 2021) and the recently launched Psychosocial Disability Recovery-Oriented Framework (NDIS, 2021) that a strong framework for building trauma-informed empowerment of agency and self-advocacy can protect participants seeking to enact languages and cultures of hope and optimism in their own self-determined psychosocial recovery.
PANEL PRESENTATION: Impact of hotel managers’ leadership style and mental health literacy on staff's work related stress
The hotel industry is known to have stressful working conditions. The nature of work hotel employees perform is demanding and is likely to contribute to high levels of work related stress. Hotel support staff face increased expectations from management in terms of financial targets in addition to other stressors such as deadlines, limited resources and being subjected to customer reviews. Hotel support staff often endure work related stress for longer tenures in comparison to their front line colleagues. Through their lived experience, hotel support staff are an ideal population to understand and inform about work related stress in hotels. Experience of hotel support staff and their perception of their managers’ leadership style and mental health literacy, in relation to the perceived work related stress is valuable.
The presentation will report how hotel support staff perceive the leadership style of their manager and if they believe transformational leadership style (that is known to engage employees on a holistic level whilst nurturing, supporting and developing the employees) corresponds to lower levels of perceived work related stress. It will also report whether hotel support staff perceive their managers to have sufficient mental health literacy to support staff’s wellbeing. The study findings will be based on the input from hotel support staff through interviews. Learning about staff’s perception of managers’ leadership styles and the level of mental health literacy among managers may be valuable in developing workplace policies and governance to build a workplace culture in the hotel industry that supports enhanced wellbeing. It may also assist in potentially reducing perceived work related stress among hotel staff. The study’s findings may assist hotel industry members to improve their work culture, assist in developing an understanding of mental health literacy and potentially improve staff wellbeing by reducing the work related stress.
As a researcher, the presenter will also share his own experience and views on the study findings.
PANEL PRESENTATION: Peer work supervision and practice- What makes it peer? Models in Sydney Local Health District.
Kate Anderson, Jemima Isbester, Holly Kemp
We aim to demonstrate a current working models of supervision developed by peer workers for peer workers. Supervision is vital to peer workers and their successful integration into clinical teams. It is a space that can be co-created to learn and grow together in our work and recovery journeys. We learn through supervision by processing our experiences and moving them into a space that can be used for the benefit of others.
Peer work is a relatively nascent profession with a history that intersects with human rights movements and self- help. Peer supervision that is developed and delivered by peer workers is a dialogical practice and should be adopted by any and all organisations that employ peer workers.
There are currently working models in Victoria and South Australia as well as international frameworks which have informed our model.
Our presentation will demonstrate how a high quality peer developed and peer delivered supervision impacts on the understanding of the peer role, ability to take our mental health issues to work and thrive and space to grow and develop our careers.
We will present our model and feedback from peer workers in SLHD to show the impact of the current use of this model and present the findings at the 2022 THEMHS conference. Navigating Complexity is unique to our supervision framework.
PANEL PRESENTATION: Spirituality & Diversity Discussions: a reflective practice training initiative for mental health sector workers
Spiritual Health Association with their valued partner, Victorian Transcultural Mental Health have collaborated since 2017 to present a suite of learning opportunities for mental health workers. The objective is to explore spirituality and diversity and how workers might engage with people for spiritual care outcomes.
The collaboration draws upon diverse skill sets in the facilitation team to support 90-minute themed small group reflective conversation. Into its fourth year the project continues to engage a range of clinical, community and lived experience workforce personnel. Participating professionals are supported to nominate and explore the challenges they experience when addressing the spiritual dimension of human expression and need, in what has traditionally been a hostile medical model environment.
The presentation will review the evolution of this training model, share learnings and evaluation data gathered over three years facilitating Spirituality and Diversity Discussions. The data highlights the need for the biopsychosocial-spiritual model of care to be embedded into services ensuring all have capacity to navigate what may seem complex, but as we explore spirituality and diversity, a simplicity is revealed that supports us to understand its place in the lives of our patients, hence opening us to another dimension of whole person care.
PANEL PRESENTATION: Reforming services through professional co-supervision of clinicians by people with lived and/or carer experience
Fay Jackson, Brenda Happell
Reform of services has been called for by people treated in mental health services, carers, Senate Select Committees, Royal Commissions and Productivity CommissionReviews. While it has been obvious in many services that employing Peer Workers and staff at all levels in designated lived experience roles has a positive impact on culture and drives reform, reforms will only take place when tackled from multiple perspectives; Engaging seasoned lived experience and carer advocates as co-supervisors with clinical supervisors for all clinical positions will accelerate culture change, build positive relationships, improve the treatment and outcomes for people accessing services, improve wellbeing of staff and contribute to achieving the much needed reforms.
Thomas Jefferson wrote “I was bold in the pursuit of knowledge, never, fearing to follow truth and reason to whatever results they led”; Trainer Brian Tracy said “Those people who develop the ability to continuously acquire new and better forms of knowledge will be the movers and shakers in our society”; Rasheed Ogunlaru said “Until you understand your customers- deeply and genuinely – you cannot truly serve them”. Being open minded and ‘big’ enough to learn from the people who have been subject to clinical treatments is an excellent way to lead on reform.