S54: Improving engagement & outcomes by developing a peer support workforce for youth early psychosis services.

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By September 26, 2017 No Comments

Authors: Gillian-Audrey Abadines, Prasuna Pradhan

Year: 2017

Event: 2017 TheMHS Conference

Subject: Promotion, Prevention, Early Intervention,Wellbeing,Change, Innovation, Reform,Workforce,Advocacy,Reducing Stigma and Discrimination,Funding – Changing Models, Systems,Technology, e-health,Lived Experience, Recovery

Type of resource: Conference Presentations and Papers

Abstract: Integrating a Peer WorkForce (PWF) within mental health services has increasingly become accepted alongside the move toward recovery-oriented practice. This talk by PWF project development officers will summarise their experiences preparing the Western Sydney headspace youth early psychosis service for a PWF. According to Orygen’s internationally recognised Early Psychosis Prevention and Intervention Centre (EPPIC) model, youth and family peer support roles were developed as core components because they improved engagement, outcomes and consumer satisfaction. During the continued delays starting a PWF in the Western Sydney region, staffing funds were reallocated to help the organisation and its staff prepare for a PWF. There is increasing evidence that peer support plays just as important a role as clinicians and medical treatments in client recovery. From a consumer perspective, five priority areas were identified (values, structural factors, resources, engagement, and the EPPIC Model). After presenting their review to all staff the authors continued this preparation work, researching the unique contributions of a PWF in this setting. Other preparation steps included guideline development alongside researching user views of the service. The PWF offer both a unique and complementary role in promoting recovery-oriented mental health services. Employing project development officers with consumer and lived-experience flagged concerns about the extent to which the service was recovery-focused, as well as its potentials, creating a more user-led approach.

Learning Objectives
Learning Objective 1: The audience will gain clarity in their understanding of the Peer Worker role and its value in the recovery journey of a young person. In addition, the audience will gain an insight to the importance of a youth peer worker presence within youth mental health services.

Learning Objective 2: The topic of peer work in a youth early psychosis program is relevant to mental health services/issues as peer workers ensure that a holistic approach is taken to the treatment and care of a consumer. Our paper addresses ways in which peer workers can improve engagement and ensure for a recovery-driven approach to a consumer's experience with a mental health service.

Thurley, M., Monson K., & Simpson, R. (2014). Youth Participation in an early psychosis service. Parkville (VIC): Orygen, The National Centre of Excellence in Youth Mental Health.
Thurley, M., Monson K.,Crienjak, C. & Sampson, R. (2015). Experience Matters: A Youth Peer Support Training Guide in Early Psychosis. Parkville (VIC): Orygen, The National Centre of Excellence in Youth Mental Health.

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