Authors: Sophie Luttrell, Lynne Matthews, Liz Duck-Chong, Kris O'Brien, Anita Conlon, Alana Istanto, Donna Matthews, Shyna Johnson, Randolfo Obregon, Amy Barker, Zoe Halabrec, Alicia King, Lisa Brophy, Tracy Fortune, Louise Byrne, Justin Scanlan, Sarah Norris
Event: 2022 TheMHS Conference
Subject: peer support, lived experience, workforce
Type of resource: Conference Presentations and Papers
Abstract: LEAD PRESENTATION: Peer Navigation – embedding service integration in peer work
Sophie Luttrell, Lynne Matthews, Liz Duck-Chong
Two resounding concepts repeated in community consultations with over 3,000 people about mental health were:
1. Service navigation continues to be a barrier to accessing timely and appropriate support
2. The peer workforce has a critical role in supporting people experiencing mental health issues
The Mental Health Commission of NSW is funding peer navigation pilot models in partnership with four organisations. Each pilot focuses on a unique setting, service model and target group. The peer navigators provide support, coaching and mentorship to people experiencing mental health issues, not only connecting them to relevant services and supports but also assisting them with employment, transport and housing and proactively identify and address barriers. Peer workers use their personal lived experience, deep understanding of the local infrastructure, and knowledge of the broader systems and services to facilitate more joined-up and holistic support to individuals.
This presentation will share important elements of the pilot designs and emerging learnings and outcomes identified to date, and highlight the journey of designing, implementing and operating Peers4Trans. One of the pilot programs, Peers4Trans is a peer navigation service for adult trans people (binary and non-binary) being run via telehealth by ACON in NSW.
This presentation will share important elements of the pilot designs and emerging learnings and outcomes identified to date.
LEAD PRESENTATION: From Competition to Collaboration building the Lived Experience Workforce in Victoria
Kris O'Brien, Anita Conlon, Alana Istanto, Donna Matthews, Shyna Johnson, Randolfo Obregon, Amy Barker, Zoe Halabrec
The Victorian Lived Experience Peer Cadet Program puts Collective Impact into practice demonstrating the power of collaboration in building meaningful support to grow the Lived Experience Workforce within Victoria.
This program is one of the initiatives being implemented in Victoria in response to the RCMHS – increasing entry-level career pathways for LEW.
The Royal Commission into Victoria’s Mental Health System released its final report in March 2021, with recommendations to expand the consumer and family-carer Lived Experience workforces and enhance workplace support (Armytage et al., 2021). The Royal Commission asked us to work differently, innovate, and put LE perspectives at the centre of decision-making. The Peer Cadet Program uses collective impact to design and implement Peer Cadet programs across 6 Community Mental Health Organisations.
Collective Impact is a collaborative approach utilised globally to address complex social issues. This approach can support the development, service provision and implementation of programs in areas where funding may be limited. (Weaver & Cajab, 2018).
The Lived Experience Peer Cadet program in Victoria is an opportunity for 30 people with Lived /Living experience undertaking the Cert IV in Mental Health Peer Work to enter paid employment across one of six participating Victorian non-government community mental health services. The Peer Cadet Program responds to the Royal Commission's recommendation to increase the number of entry points into lived experience workforces (Armytage et al., 2021). The PCP utilises collective impact at its core to support a collaborative environment to support the expansion and creation of Lived Experience Workforce entry pathways within Victoria.
The collaborative approach to implementing the PCP created environments for organisations, project leads and the Victorian government to work together to utilise the resources and strengths already present within the sector, effectively capitalising time, effort, resources and support for the implementation and design of the Cadetship. Furthermore, this project has provided the opportunity to support the development of Lived Experience Leadership within the sector.
A Collective Impact approach to addressing complex social issues within mental health strongly aligns with core ideas within Peer support and Lived/Living Experience practice. Acknowledging that each individual and organisation has value, experience, and expertise to share is vital to its success. If done correctly, it is a tool for achieving meaningful social change across the Mental Health Sector. This collaborative approach has been utilised in every aspect of program design – from developing resources to recruiting and designing the program model.
PANEL PRESENTATION: Navigating the complexity of sharing lived experience in the mental health workplace
Alicia King, Lisa Brophy, Tracy Fortune, Louise Byrne
The personal lived experience of mental health professionals has historically been largely unacknowledged and undeclared in their workplaces, except when seeking support ‘behind closed doors.’ The growth of Lived Experience designated roles has thrown into sharp relief differences in understandings of lived experience and norms around sharing between the professional and Lived Experience workforces. Service reform is focussed on both the inclusion of Lived Experience perspectives and building a sustainable mental health workforce but efforts to address these issues are currently siloed. Research conducted at two Victorian mental health services explored the perspectives and experiences of staff in designated and non-designated roles, in semi-structured interviews. Comparative case analysis illuminated differences across individuals, supervisors, teams, and organisations that enabled and constrained sharing for staff. Analysis of internal organisational documents highlighted similarities and differences in the public and not-for-profit sectors informing recommendations for change. This presentation will discuss these recommendations in terms of how colleagues, supervisors, teams, and organisations can support the sharing of lived experience across the workforce. The sharing of lived experience is complex, depending on your position and role in the system. This research suggests opportunities to address this complexity and improve sharing to enhance service users’ experiences.
PANEL PRESENTATION: Peer Supported Transfer of Care (Peer-STOC): Impacts on re-hospitalisation, community service connection and economic outcomes
Justin Scanlan, Sarah Norris
Peer Supported Transfer of Care (Peer-STOC) is a NSW-wide program, delivered by consumer Peer Workers, that provides six weeks of transition support following discharge from hospital. A team of lived experience and non-lived experience researchers were engaged to evaluate the implementation and outcomes of the program over the initial 3 years.
This presentation focuses on the quantitative aspects of the evaluation in terms of service use and economic outcomes. We compared individuals who received Peer-STOC supports to a group of similar individuals who did not receive Peer-STOC supports to explore whether Peer-STOC had positive impacts in terms of:
(1) a smaller proportion of individuals being readmitted within 28 days
(2) fewer days spent in hospital over the 12 months following discharge
(3) fewer mental health-related presentations to emergency departments
(4) stronger connection with community mental health services
(5) releasing resources within the mental health system to enable more effective delivery of supports to the community
There were very positive results in each aspect, except for emergency department presentations which did not change for either group.
These outcomes (along with other elements of the evaluation) demonstrate the positive impact Peer-STOC has had on the mental health system in NSW.