S27: Peer Work and Climate Change.

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By September 21, 2017 No Comments

Authors: Tim Heffernan

Year: 2017

Event: 2017 TheMHS Conference

Subject: Advocacy,Funding – Changing Models, Systems,Lived Experience, Recovery,Community, Culture, Society,Service Systems, Delivery, Implementation,Social Justice,Workforce,Change, Innovation, Reform,Policy, Strategy

Type of resource: Conference Presentations and Papers

Abstract: Antarctic ice shelves are at their lowest levels, extreme weather events are chronic and the Great Barrier Reef is losing its colour. Yet we have climate change deniers.

Mental Health services are broken, involuntary hospitalisations are chronic and the lived experience of people is lost in the dull repetition of the medical model. Yet they still are the workforce.

Peer Work and Climate change are synonymous.

Peer workers are the renewable resource that must replace the fossil fuel. We can be the workforce.

This paper explores how the decline in coal powered power generation should inform the decline in traditional involuntary and coercive ‘mental health hospitals’ and their associated carbon based technologies. Peer workers are the solar panels, the wind turbines, the lithium batteries of recovery.

Learning Objectives
Learning Objective 1: People in the audience will gain an understanding that climate change and peer work are largely unstoppable.

Learning Objective 2: This is relevant to mental health services, because they wont survive unless we address peer work.

1. Heffernan, T (2010) Early Recovery Intervention In Acute Mental Health Units And Beyond, TheMHS Conference Papers 2010, April 2011 (Recommended reading)
2. Weir. K (2016) Climate change is threatening mental health, a federal report that tapped psychologists' expertise outlines the ways climate change affects us all. American Psychological Association.

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