S38: Overcoming difficulties, cultural and marketing limitations to increase access to online education, counselling, support groups and psycho-education.

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By September 26, 2017 No Comments

Authors: Debbie Childs, Julie McChesney

Year: 2017

Event: 2017 TheMHS Conference

Subject: Technology, e-health

Type of resource: Conference Presentations and Papers

Abstract: For more than 40 years HelpingMinds has supported the whole family through their recovery journey. HelpingMinds constantly seeks to improve carers access to support and to better engage with mental health carers through different models of service delivery.
We will discuss the ways that HelpingMinds is:
- Offering services online to increase mental health carers access to support services
- Working in the school systems to improve identification of young carers, young people’s knowledge of mental health issues, and support teachers to manage young people’s social and emotional wellbeing, and anxiety.
We are keenly aware of the barriers to carers being recognised, supported and the need for early intervention to provide the best support for carers and outcomes for the family.
- Difficulty carers can have making it into offices for appointments – travel costs, time, working and managing caring responsibilities
- Gaps in services. May regional carers are unsupported locally.
- Increasing numbers of people identifying as mental health carers
From a funding perspective, challenges in supporting carers in WA include:
- Vast distances mean it is too expensive to establish and maintain additional regional offices
- With the implementation of NDIS, carer funding will be significantly diminished.
Addressing this complex landscape - maximising technology to address some of the gaps that will occur in carer support.
Online Education, Counselling, Support Groups and Psycho-Education
We will discuss the difficulties, marketing and cultural limitations that we have had to overcome as well as the real and perceived benefits for those who have accessed services.
- From late 2015 we have offered online education for mental health carers as part of a joint venture with a US/Canadian partnership.
- Implemented new technology which enables confidential online counselling
- Will offer online support groups and specific psycho-education.

We have collaborated with schools across Perth for many years to offer counselling for young mental health carers in school time and have delivered mental health education into secondary schools.
We have developed evidence based programs for primary school teachers which assist teachers to incorporate social and emotional learning into all classes. We will discuss the feedback from teachers and the focus of their learnings and benefits for them and their students.

Learning Objectives
Learning Objective 1 & 2:
Steps HelpingMinds has taken to increase access to support services, the difficulties we encountered and how these are being overcome
How HelpingMinds has worked with schools to improve the identification of young carers and those at risk of developing mental illness
Benefits of new programs we are implementing with Primary Schools teachers to support social and emotional learning in classrooms

University of Northern Colorado. Formative Evaluation: Online Family MEntal Health Recovery Education. Lisa A Rue, PhD; Samantha Estrada and Michael Floren, (2014).
Research commenced in Australia also.

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