Authors: Eileen McDonald, Melissa Petrakis, Caroline Walters, Kerry Hawkins, Hayley Solich, Sharon Lawn, Carli Sheers, Kath Sellick, Lorna Downes, Bronwyn Robinson, Daniel Gor, Agnes Girdwood, Lisa Romanin, Jennifer Davidson, Vrinda Edan, Amaya Alvarez
Event: 2022 TheMHS Conference
Subject: covid, lived experience, workforce
Type of resource: Conference Presentations and Papers
Abstract: LEAD PRESENTATION: Mental Health Family Carer Experiences of COVID-19: A co-produced National study revealing complexity and diversity
Eileen McDonald, Melissa Petrakis, Caroline Walters, Kerry Hawkins, Hayley Solich, Sharon Lawn, Carli Sheers
National Mental Health Consumer and Carer Forum (NMHCCF), a combined national voice for mental health consumers and carers, received a grant from the National Mental Health Commission (NMHC) to undertake a research project in 2021- 2022, to develop an evidence base on mental health carer experiences, distress and unmet needs due to the Covid-19 Pandemic Australia-wide. The NMHCCF established a Research Project Steering Group (PSG) representing the diversity and navigating complexity in mental health, including NMHCCF carers and consumers in collaboration with national and jurisdiction organisations with mental health carer expertise, as well as organisations representing regional, rural and remote, multicultural and Aboriginal and Torres Strait Lived Experience. The NMHCCF commissioned Social Work Innovation, Transformation and Collaboration in Health (SWITCH) Research Group, Monash University, to partner in the research using a co-design and co-production process with the PSG. Two methods of data collection were used: online surveys and co- facilitated focus groups in each jurisdiction, also national focus groups with Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people, and with culturally and linguistically diverse people. Key learnings about processes and to embed integration from the research findings to make a difference for family and carers nationally will be presented at the conference.
LEAD PRESENTATION: Rising Together - lifting the lid on the experiences of family/carer lived experience workers
Kath Sellick, Lorna Downes, Bronwyn Robinson, Daniel Gor, Agnes Girdwood, Lisa Romanin, Jennifer Davidson, Vrinda Edan, Amaya Alvarez
Family/carer lived experience workers are an increasing feature of the Australian mental health service system, yet there is little research into the experiences of these workers in mental health services. In addition, there has been minimal consideration of the organisational change required to fully incorporate family/carer workers in a way that is safe and inclusive. Co-produced with family/carer workers, the Rising Together project aimed to increase the understanding of the workplace experiences of the family/carer workforce with a particular focus on workplace conditions, inclusion in the workplace, and the impact of organisational culture on family/carer workers. This project utilised a state-wide survey of Victorian family/carer workers, photovoice sessions, and focus groups to explore the experiences of family/carer workers and to develop recommendations to support the sustainable development of the family/carer workforce. This paper will present the key findings from this project along with a series of recommendations that can be implemented by workers, organisations and system wide. The paper will also detail the approach to co-production that was utilised within the project that enabled a meaningful partnership between academics and family/carer lived experience workers.