Authors: Browyn Sutherland
Event: 2000 TheMHS Conference
Subject: book of proceedings, Training And Development, STAFF, staff supervision, performance appraisal, peer supervision and secondary consultation
Type of resource: Conference Presentations and Papers
Abstract: In a time where human service agencies are faced with declines in material resources, the mental health system relies heavily on workers being effective and productive. The worker may be described as the most valuable resource of any human service agency, because they're what makes the programs work (Lewis, Lewis and Souflée, 1991).
Working in mental health is challenging, and often demanding for staff, and this in addition to the decline in material resources, means that losing the productivity or effectiveness of workers is a very real issue for mental health agencies. Organisations in the mental health system must be proactive in seeking to maintain and enhance the effectiveness of workers.
Ensuring that workers are effective in providing a service to consumers means consciously attending to workers' needs, and providing structures that support and enhance their professional and personal skills. Implementing strategies to enhance worker effectiveness demonstrates a recognition of the value and importance of the work undertaken by employees.
This paper was presented as a workshop at the Melbourne VICSERV Conference in July, 2000. Some of the responses of the participants of that workshop will be incorporated throughout this paper. This paper will provide an overview of four strategies that enhance worker effectiveness - staff supervision, performance appraisal, peer supervision and secondary consultation. These four strategies are all used in the Mothers Support Program.