Authors: Sarah Childs, Anneliese Russell
Event: 2019 TheMHS Conference
Subject: Are You Ready for a New Sensation? Feel and Function Better Using Sensory Strategies.
Type of resource: Conference Presentations and Papers
Anneliese Russell is an experienced Occupational Therapist with a Postgraduate Diploma in Community Mental Health. She has worked for over 20 years in mental health with experience in private, public and non-government sectors across inpatient, residential rehabilitation and community settings. Throughout this time, she has enjoyed working in clinical, case management, leadership and management roles. Anneliese is currently working as the Allied Health Services Manager at RFQ.
Sarah is an Occupational Therapist who has many years of experience managing mental health teams in the UK and Queensland. Sarah has expertise in the application and supervision of evidence-based programs and services. She has lead and contributed to several mental health research and evaluation projects on topics including employment, housing support, various clinical programs, physical health interventions and consumer and carer experiences of care. She currently manages Clinical and Service Delivery at RFQ.
Sensory modulation is an evidence based intervention which improves the way you feel or function using your senses. Emerging literature suggests that sensory modulation is an effective intervention in mental health services.
Significant benefits of this practical approach include its ability to be used effectively when people have challenges with talking or thinking therapies. It can provide effects rapidly, be relatively inexpensive and provide opportunities for building resilience whilst increasing community engagement in healthy roles and relationships.
RFQ Occupational Therapists have been piloting the use of sensory strategies in community settings. Workshops funded through PHN programs have enabled people with both mild levels of anxiety and depression and those with severe and complex mental health concerns to access group and individual sensory interventions.
Collaboration with other service providers across a number of different communities has resulted in the delivery of sensory programs to younger participants from organisations such as Headspace and Epilepsy Queensland, as well as a growing demand among carers/parents to also build their own resilience.
Recently developed communities such as Ripley, have also identified sensory modulation as relevant for improving health and resilience among families moving to a new environment. Key achievements, learnings, challenges and future plans will be discussed.
Learning Objective 1: The audience will learn about the benefits of sensory modulation in building healthy and resilient communities.
Learning Objective 2: Sensory modulation is relevant to communities of all ages experiencing both mild and more complex mental health challenges while also being relevant to building resilience among mental health service providers as well as those caring for people with a lived experience.