Authors: Bridget Berry, Shifra Waks, Richard Schweizer, Nicola Hancock, Anne Honey, Justin Scanlon
Event: 2016 TheMHS Conference
Subject: Authenticity of consumer participation, lived experience, new pathways to care, research & evaluation informing practice, university of sydney
Type of resource: Conference Presentations and Papers
Abstract: With the increasing recognition of the importance of consumers’ perspectives, consumer collaboration in mental health service evaluation and research has developed to the degree that it is considered expected practice and often a funding requirement (e.g., NHMRC/Consumers’ Health Forum of Australia, 2002). Consumer-led research is emerging as an innovative approach to ensure that the perspectives and priorities of people living with mental illness drive research and service evaluation from conception to completion.
For a year now a team of three consumer researchers and three academic researchers at the University of Sydney have been funded by Sydney North Shore and Beaches Partners in Recovery (PIR) program to conduct an external, consumer-led service evaluation looking at consumer experiences of accessing PIR services.
In this presentation we will: 1) describe the study and key findings related to consumer-identified transformational outcomes and the importance of the consumer-staff relationship and 2) reflect on consumer and academic researcher experiences of implementing a consumer-led research project. We will discuss obstacles faced, successes achieved, and lessons learnt. The overall process of reflecting on our experiences was guided by the principles of collaborative auto-ethnography (Chang, Ngunjiri, & Hernandez, 2012).