Authors: Carmel Henry, Kelly Gloyne, Ahmad Al-Ali, Peter Eacock, Sheenam Prasad, Brian O’Connell
Event: 2022 TheMHS Conference
Subject: peer support, lived experience, services, telehealth,
Type of resource: Conference Presentations and Papers
Abstract: 1737 Peer Support National Telehealth line – Providing immediate support, making long-term difference
On the 25th of March 2020 at 11:59pm, New Zealand moved to Alert Level 4, and the entire Nation went into self-isolation. A State of National Emergency is declared at 12:21pm. As part of a raft of responses, the NZ Ministry of Health commits to a temporary increased spend in the National 1737 telehealth line – with a difference. This additional funding is directed at providing a Peer Support telehealth response to people across Aotearoa dealing with the effects of the Covid 19 pandemic.
A partnership was created between Mind and Body, a National Lived Experience led, Peer Support and Advocacy service and Whakarongorau (previously Homecare Medical), the National service provider of the 1737 Telehealth service. Mind and Body were funded for up to 10 full-time Peer Support Workers to answer calls 7 days a week from 2pm to 10pm. Every aspect of the set up and delivery of the service was done remotely, including recruitment, training, management, service delivery and peer co-reflection. A diverse group of Peer Support workers were recruited from across the country, which included rural Aotearoa. The service went live in August 2020 and from day one, the Peer Support team received over 50% of all calls made to the 1737 helpline during its hours of operation. This has remained consistent to date.
In a round-table discussion, the Mind and Body 1737 Peer Support team would like to take you through their journey over the last two years, navigating the complexity of establishing a remote National service during a pandemic and integrating it with an existing National telehealth service delivered by Whakarongorau. Together and with audience participation, we would like to share our learnings and discuss;
• What makes a Peer phone response different from a traditional clinical phone response?
• How do the two services work together?
• Who are our callers and why are they calling the Peer Support line?
• How do we incorporate the principles of Intentional Peer Support: From helping to learning together, Individual to relationship, Fear, to hope and possibility?
The service was independently evaluated in May 2021. We will share with you the evaluation findings, data and trends, alongside the stories and experiences of the Peer Support team and those that call for support.
At Mind & Body, we believe every person can live a life they find worthwhile. We are confident about this, because every person at Mind & Body has experienced mental distress and/or addiction and recovery in their own lives. We are peers - people who have experienced our own challenges, wellbeing journeys and recovery.