S34: Carers experience of service provision, why is it such a struggle for carers to be recognised?

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By September 21, 2017 No Comments

Authors: Tim Coombs, Judy Hardy, Rosemary Dickson, Cheryl Reed

Year: 2017

Event: 2017 TheMHS Conference

Subject: Policy, Strategy,Clinical Issues

Type of resource: Conference Presentations and Papers

Abstract: Carers (relatives and family) of people who have a mental illness are considered central to the provision of mental health care. This paper reflects on the ongoing challenge of involving carers in the collection of their views as part of practice. In 2008, the Australian Mental Health Outcomes and Classification Network (AMHOCN) was tasked with identifying a measure of the carer’s experience of burden. However, at the conclusion of this project the inability of services to identify carers was seen as a significant impediment to the implementation of any routine measurement (Dare et al., 2008). Subsequent work identified strategies to improve carer identification through the introduction of standards of practice, policy development and legislation (McMahon, Hardy, & Carson, 2009). In 2013, AMHOCN was tasked with the creation of a Carer Experience Survey, however again this project was challenged by services’ inability to identify carers. While, ultimately, a measure was successfully created, the challenge of engaging carers remained. More recently, work has been undertaken to provide practical guidance to services on ways to engage with carers (CMO Consortium, 2016). As services begin to implement the Carer Experience measure, this paper asks, with all the resources and advice available, how will we finally bring about the meaningful engagement of carers?

Learning Objectives
Learning Objective 1: Attendees at this session will have a better understanding of the issues involved in carer engagement in mental health services.

Learning Objective 2: Ensuring carers are fully engaged in the process of care is central to mental health care delivery. Attendees at this session will appreciate the ongoing challenge of carer engagement.

CMO Consortium. (2016). A practical guide for working with carers of people with a mental illness. Retrieved from http://www.mentalhealthcarersaustralia.org.au/wp-content/uploads/2016/08/A-Practical-Guide-for-working-with-people-with-a-mental-illness-February-2016.pdf
Dare, A., Hardy, J., Burgess, P., Coombs, T., Williamson, M., & Pirkis, J. (2008). Carer Outcome Measurement in Mental Health Services: Scoping the Field. Retrieved from Brisbane:
McMahon, J., Hardy, J., & Carson, R. (2009). Identifying the Carer Project: Final Report and Recommendations. Retrieved from: http://www.health.gov.au/internet/main/publishing.nsf/Content/9E57AFA440CB4E4CCA257D8D00774DA2/$File/carers.pdf

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