Authors: Lottie Turner, Dianne Anagnos, Law (Laura) Edwards, Elise Tripodi
Event: 2022 TheMHS Conference
Subject: social justice, physical health, services
Type of resource: Conference Presentations and Papers
Abstract: LEAD PRESENTATION: Partnering to disrupt mental health inequity and injustice
Lottie Turner, Dianne Anagnos
Public health and access to justice literature point to the conditions in which we are born and live as key determinants of our ability to enjoy equity in mental health, wellbeing, and justice. For some people, experiences of mental ill-health interact deeply with social injustice. This interaction means that people in contact with mental health services often disproportionately experience the impact of adverse social conditions, the solutions for which may lie beyond the mental health system. How do we bring together diverse expertise across systems and services, broadening the skills, knowledge, tools, connections, and experiences to address these complex and intersecting issues? One way is through health justice partnership (HJP).
HJP is a collaborative approach between health and legal assistance services. It embeds legal help into healthcare settings to tackle multiple, intersecting health, legal and social problems that can drive complex need. Integrating legal care into mental healthcare enables services to address the stressors that can trigger, escalate, or compound distress, at the same time as providing therapeutic and psychological care.
Health Justice Australia’s Partnerships Director will give an overview of this innovative model of integrated care, presenting alongside HJP practitioners to bring voices from the frontline of practice.
LEAD PRESENTATION: Implementation of Exercise Physiology and Dietetic Services in a High-Secure Forensic Hospital
Law (Laura) Edwards, Elise Tripodi
The presentation will outline the steps taken to produce an implementation plan for the integration of nutrition and physical activity services in a high secure forensic mental health setting.
Patients admitted to the Forensic Hospital (FH) experience pronounced weight gain, increasing their risk of developing metabolic disorders. Barriers exist at the patient, staff, and organisational level to implementing the recommended physical health guidelines in a high secure forensic mental health setting.
In 2021, the Exercise Physiologist (EP) and Dietitian commenced a joint project to develop an implementation plan for delivery of these services in the FH. A literature review, patient focus groups, staff interviews and benchmarking against mental health services contributed to the development of the implementation plan.
Patient feedback identified insufficient equipment and limited access to cooking programs. Patients requested healthier food availability, incentivised group programs, and individual consultations led by specialised clinicians.
Staff interviews found there limited understanding of EP and dietetic services. Embedded pathways and processes are required to ensure evidence based interventions were actioned and prioritised.
Patient and staff consultation is critical to manage the complexity of embedding targeted, evidence-based, lifestyle interventions and ensure sustainability in a unique mental health setting.