Authors: Liz Newton, Mark McMahon, Jenny Kemp, Karen Barfoot & Linda Duffell, NSW
Event: 2004 TheMHS Conference
Subject: Recovery & Culture Change
Type of resource: Conference Presentations and Papers
Abstract: The workshop focused on the journey of Northern Sydney Mental Health in their development of a recovery-based service. Processes, challenges and learning, around what promotes or constrains the development of a recovery philosophy were discussed. Without organisational will, flexible practice frameworks, adequate resources and shared vision, initiatives are doomed to failure. The adoption of recovery principles in Mental Health Services requires the creation of empowering environments for consumers, carers and mental health staff. However the operationalisation of empowerment on the ground frequently challenges the very fabric of organisational culture in health. An emphasis on strengths and autonomy requires services to reconceptualise their work shifting from a helping orientation to a healing one. Skilled partnering which is open to and respectful of ‘service users lived experience’ and their unique interpretation better describes the activities of staff and organisations embracing a recovery philosophy. The aim of the workshop was to unpack these complex constructs, exploring their application to practice, together with group discussion around service solutions.