Authors: The Victorian Mental Illness Awareness Council in partnership with the North Western Health Network
Event: 1998 TheMHS Awards
Type of resource: TheMHS Awards
Award state: VIC
Award level: Gold
Award category: Consumer Involvement
Abstract: The Deep Dialogue Project is a collaborative project between the Victorian Mental Illness Awareness Council (VMIAC - the peak service user organisation in Victoria) and the North Western Health Network. The theoretical underpinnings of both the VMIAC and concerned practitioners from the NOrth Western Health Network that deep work culture change was necessay if services were going to reach the rhetorical ideal of becoming truly consume sensitive. To support this aim the Deep Dialogue process involved a small group of politically experienced consumers meeting weekly for ten weeks with a small group of staff. The consumers understood their role as a staff educative one. These meetings were formally facilitated by two experienced facilitators to enable the participants to become involved in discussions which were 'deep'and therefore sometimes challenging, confronting and painful. The Deep DIalogue process then offerred support for the small group of 'trained" staff to re-enter their places of work with greater insight as well as new found skills and determination to act as "culture carriers" disseminating the gains they had made from the learning experience to other staff and management. Description of Facility/Organisation: The Victorian Mental Illness Awareness Council is the state peak consumer organisation in Victoria. It represents iver fifty consumer groups and si managed by consumers who make up the committee of management. The North Western Health Network is a large metropolitan health service incorporating six area mental health services.