S95: Consumer and Carer Engagement in Mental Health Services: Brisbane North Mental Health, Suicide Prevention, Alcohol and other Drugs Reforms.

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By September 27, 2017 No Comments

Authors: Paula Arro

Year: 2017

Event: 2017 TheMHS Conference

Subject: Workforce,Lived Experience, Recovery,Change, Innovation, Reform

Type of resource: Conference Presentations and Papers

Abstract: The Brisbane North Primary Health Network (PHN) has used its new role for commissioning mental health, suicide prevention and alcohol and other drug services as a challenge to take consumer and carer (C&C) involvement to the next level. This presentation is a snapshot of how the PHN has built on and embedded consumers and carers in co-design throughout the commissioning cycle.

Central to the PHN’s approach is its regional framework and peer participation network. Part think-tank, part network, every meeting is driven by the things the C&C's want to hear more about. Guest speakers, discussion spots, and service highlights are mashed up with generous feedback time so everyone has a chance to contribute and have their voice heard.

The network has also been directly responsible for initiating and showcasing the range of opportunities it has opened up to C&C's. These are in a number of areas and examples will be provided in two areas. The first directly supports C&C's to develop their own skill-base via scholarship, sponsorship and subsidy initiatives. So far this has included giving C&C's the opportunity to complete Mental Health First Aid certificates at no cost, as well as co-producing—with a leading vocational training organisation—a supported program for C&C's to complete a Cert IV in Mental Health and Certificate IV in Mental Health Peer Work.

The second area supports C&C's to become involved in strategic, organisational and regional development. Initially sitting on the PHN’s Partners in Recovery Governance Committee, this has since extended to include becoming lived-experience evaluators of services, along with sitting as equal members on numerous tender assessment panels, regional planning and co-design opportunities to deliberate and action the future direction of services (both existing and where new funding has become available).
And all this within one year!

As the peer participation network continues to grow, this presentation is a dynamic reflection of the enthusiasm of its members, the learnings and active improvements the PHN has undertaken and a showcase of what’s possible when all are challenged to become active partners in the services that affect them.

Learning Objectives
Learning Objective 1: Strategies to build a regional framework to engage consumers and carers in all levels of the mental health system.

Learning Objective 2: Strategies for building a peer workforce in a regional area to enhance mental health services.

Health Workforce Australia (2014) Literature review: Peer Workforce
National Mental Health Commission (2014) Mental Health Peer Work Development and Promotion

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