S44: LEAD & PANEL PRESENTATIONS: Co-Designing Services

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By December 7, 2022 No Comments

Authors: Raffael Di Bartolomeo, Caroline Dimond, Aunty Pearl Wymarra, Jo Farmer, Phy Mei Liu, Sar Bostock, Ming Low, Tristan Ceccato, Lexi Robinson, Trevor Hunt, Kevin Wernli, Ryan Robertson, Meaghan Enright, Sally Arthur, Annika Luebbe, Grace Scholl, Janet Wilson, Marianne Wyder, Harvey Whiteford, Zoe Rutherford

Year: 2022

Event: 2022 TheMHS Conference

Subject: co-design, collaboration, services, evaluation,

Type of resource: Conference Presentations and Papers

Abstract: LEAD PRESENTATION: Place, community and building connection. Lessons learnt from Head to Health co-design
Raffael Di Bartolomeo, Caroline Dimond, Aunty Pearl Wymarra

How much does a co-design process really add to creating community place-based responses?

Over the last 18 months Neami has had the opportunity to examine this question through co-designing of five very similar services in five unique locations. Head to Health Centres in Darwin, Townsville, Penrith and Geelong, as well as the Urgent Mental Health Care Centre in Adelaide have all benefited from co-design processes that have built on the National service model developed by the Federal Government, been responsive to the unique needs of each community and embodied the values and principles of place-based mental health service provision.

Across each service site we were able to develop philosophies of care, governance structures and physical spaces that reflects the uniqueness each community. Equally, across each site we heard about the deep value and respect for Aboriginal Torres Strait islander, lived experience and community ways of working and fostering spaces for deep connection, where the care provided is empowering, holistic, and truly human centred.

As we move through our co-design journey and the ongoing delivery of Head to Health, we are conscious cementing our practice and leanings and building on our experience, including:
• Holding integrity to the work of co-design and being transparent and accountable with consumers and communities.
• A commitment to walk alongside the communities we work with and honour the connections and relationships built.
• Defining what success looks like for the community – understanding if, how, and why we are making a difference to community outcomes.
• Knowing that co-design process doesn’t end with a service opening but is an ongoing commitment to deeply listening and sharing power with consumers and communities.

LEAD PRESENTATION: Co-designing and co-evaluating the first design stage of Victoria’s first lived experience led residential mental health service
Jo Farmer, Phy Mei Liu, Sar Bostock, Ming Low, Tristan Ceccato, Lexi Robinson, Trevor Hunt

The Victorian Royal Commission recommended the establishment of Victoria’s first residential mental health service designed and delivered by people with lived experience. In 2021, the Department of Health commenced the first stage of a co-design process to deliver the Lived Experience Residential Service. Stage One involved 14 co-designers with lived experience, developing the service principles and informing a functional brief. Keen to learn as much as possible about the process of co-design, the Department engaged Impact Co. in partnership with Jo Farmer and Sar Bostock (consumer evaluators) to undertake a co-evaluation of the stage one co-design.
This presentation will reflect on the process of co-evaluation, what the team got right, and where there were opportunities for improvement. The presenter will share some of the strategies that the team used to address issues of lived experience leadership, power and communications within the project.
The stage one co-design was a complex project, delivered in a complex and ever-changing environment. This presentation will reflect on navigating that complexity, and demonstrate the importance of embedding lived experience leadership and integration throughout a project, from inception to evaluation. Delegates will leave with practical examples, which underscore the importance of integrating lived experience evaluation into systemic reform projects.

PANEL PRESENTATION: Co-designing an integrated and collaborative digital platform to improve mental health... Challenges and Successes
Kevin Wernli, Ryan Robertson

Challenging recent events, health professional workforce shortages, and disconnected analogue services can all contribute to siloed models of care and inefficiencies within the mental health sector. Digital solutions hold promise in helping improve clinical outcomes, ease waitlists, and assist people with mental ill-health navigate the array of services available (Ratheesh and Alvarez-Jimenez., 2022).

Oqea, is an end-to-end digital platform that empowers individuals to securely connect and access multidimensional resources, health professionals and services. It aims to improve some of the challenges faced by people with mental ill-health and those that support them.

Co-design has emerged as a framework to maximise the positive impact of developing and implementing digital solutions (Trindall et al., 2021). Co-design has always been a strong commitment at Oqea. However, recent growth has seen the formalisation and implementation of the co-design framework and process.

Several positives quickly emerged from the co-design activities including the identification of ‘quick wins’, process re-designs and suggested features that have helped guide integration activities. Importantly, participant experiences were also overwhelmingly positive. Challenges included renumeration for brief activities, interest compared to participation, and balancing technical implementation capabilities between differing age groups.

Remaining reflective and adaptive will help optimise ongoing co-design activities.

PANEL PRESENTATION: Co-designing an Evaluation of Queensland’s Mental Health Community Support Services Programs
Meaghan Enright, Sally Arthur, Annika Luebbe, Grace Scholl, Janet Wilson, Marianne Wyder, Harvey Whiteford, Zoe Rutherford 

Although co-design of mental health research is discussed and recognized as a vital component of study methodologies, how co-designed research is conducted and its impact is not well documented within published literature. The purpose of this study is to help fill this gap by sharing our team’s experience in co-designing the evaluation of Queensland’s Mental Health Community Support Services (MH CSS) programs.

Following the completion of the MH CSS evaluation, a document review of project documentation was conducted to evidence the formally recorded input from our lived experience co-researchers, and to identify subsequent changes made to the evaluation’s methodology and results. A series of collaborative reflections with the research team (including lived experience co-researchers) took place to reflect on and appraise the evaluation’s co-design processes, the various ways in which lived experience expertise impacted the research, and the outputs resultant from the co-design process.

A particular focus was placed on reviewing the factors underpinning the team which enabled equal partnership and the navigation of multiple identities. Understanding these factors enabled the team to identify the impact of the co-design process and outputs to make recommendations for future co-designed and co-produced research.

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