S18: Work Well and Working Together: Enhancing employment services for mental health consumers through co-production.

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By September 21, 2017 No Comments

Authors: Kate Feder, Stephen Adei

Year: 2017

Event: 2017 TheMHS Conference

Subject: Lived Experience, Recovery, Research & Evaluation Informing Practice, Change, Innovation, Reform

Type of resource: Conference Presentations and Papers

Abstract: Neami National is committed to providing quality employment services to consumers as an essential element of an individual’s recovery journey. Two years ago Neami NSW launched their first employment program, Work Well, with the support of PIR innovation funding. Following the success of that program, Work Well programs have been implemented across Neami NSW and integrated into new and established funding streams.

By maintaining fidelity to the Individual Placement and Support model, Work Well has supported mental health consumers to gain competitive sustainable employment, voluntary work, and enrol in study and training programs, to reach their individual goals.

Employment services were further enhanced by co-producing a quality improvement process to gain constructive, honest feedback from consumers participating in Work Well programs. Seven consumers and two staff members designed a questionnaire and feedback process devoid of the power imbalances often involved in seeking feedback from consumers participating in existing services. Furthermore, consumers from a wide-range of backgrounds, experiences and diagnoses were trained as Quality Improvement Representatives to deliver the anonymised questionnaire to consumers participating in Work Well programs. The outcomes of this process demonstrate how partnering with consumers to improve services has led to richer, more tailored employment programs.

Learning Objectives
Learning Objective 1: The audience will learn how involving consumers in employment service design and delivery creates richer, more targeted innovations.

Learning Objective 2: Consumers participating in mental health services have current knowledge of service delivery and can guide services towards areas for improvement in this important area of employment support.

Becker, D. R., Swanson, S. J., Bond, G. R., Carlson, L., Flint, L., Smith, G., et al. (2008). Supported Employment Fidelity Scale. Lebanon, NH: Dartmouth Psychiatric Research Center
Boyle D., Clarke S. and Burns S. (2006). Hidden work: co-production by people outside paid employment. London: Joseph Rowntree Foundation.

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