S42: Cultivating common ground: Neami’s evolution in consumer participation.

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By September 26, 2017 No Comments

Authors: Kathy McCormick

Year: 2017

Event: 2017 TheMHS Conference

Subject: Change, Innovation, Reform,Lived Experience, Recovery,Advocacy

Type of resource: Conference Presentations and Papers

Abstract: “If we plant a seed in a desert and it fails to grow, do we ask, “What is wrong with the seed?” No. The real conspiracy lays in this: to look at the environment around the seed and to ask, “What must change in this environment such that the seed can grow?” (Deegan, 1987, p.2)

A decade after Patricia Deegan raised this crucial point about providing effective support for recovery, we are asking ourselves the same question about consumer participation.
The consumer led closure of the Consumer Advocacy Group at Neami in 2012 was followed up with the ambitious plan of embedding consumer participation at all areas of the organisation. Most recently, staff and consumers have explored a co-production approach to making decisions about the services delivered in their local area.

Our efforts to build the capacity of both workers and consumers to collaborate with each other and cultivate common ground from which they can grow together has produced many insights about the work that needs to be done. High on the list of challenges to address is promoting the integrity of co-production values.

With this work we hope to progress a sophisticated dialogue about the evolution of consumer participation.

Learning Objectives
Learning Objective 1: The audience will learn about: a) the learnings within the evolution of Neami’s consumer participation policy and practice from CAGs to co-production; b) the rewards and barriers to authentic collaboration between consumers and staff in the co-production of service planning and delivery; and c) the importance of capacity building for both staff and consumers in cultivating equal partnership in decision making.

Learning Objective 2: With the growing expectation of co-production as a means of developing and delivering mental health services, it is imperative to move beyond theoretical discussions and focus on learnings from existing practice.

Deegan, P. (1987) Recovery, rehabilitation and the conspiracy of hope. Retrieved from; https://www.patdeegan.com/sites/default/files/files/conspiracy_of_hope.pdf.
Pinches, A. & Hatt, J. (2010). Consumer Participation and Leadership Report, Neami Ltd.

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