Annual Conference

TheMHS 2014 S051: Recovery

By August 28, 2014 No Comments

How can mental health services practically embrace the recovery principle of “nothing about me without me”? Lessons from the Barwon experience.

You can read an abstract of this presentation here.

Jennifer Black and Helen Glover invited those present to participate in a workshop utilising the World Cafe concept, exploring the principle of “nothing about me without me”, and how might this look in practice.  The principle is currently being implemented in services in Barwon.

The first question raised centred on why there was a need for the principle and why the conversations surrounding it should be held. Some of the suggestions that emerged from group discussions were:

  • Upholding a respect for the lived experience of consumers
  • Validation of the expertise of consumers
  • Collaboration between service providers, consumers and their carers results in greater responsibility for those involved
  • Transparency of service and discourses concerning consumers is vital
  • A change in language and power balance is necessary for this principle to be implemented

Over the course of the 1.5 hour session, participants periodically moved into different groups to explore and extend on the conversations being held around the principle, constructing new knowledge and developing more questions.

At the conclusion of the workshop, a number of ideas, concerns and questions for development surrounding the establishment of the principle in practice were raised including:

  • Logistics may prove problematic in putting procedures in place that embrace this principle
  • The diversity of stories of lived experience is often overlooked yet is integral to this principle – Conversations need to be consistently held that involve consumers voicing their needs, which may in turn lead to other services being provided/referred
  • Conversations held by clinicians may need to adapt in order to embrace the principle
  • Key Performance Indicators used in services may not include issues that are important to consumers 

In closing, a number of participants shared their personal commitment to speak about the Barwon experience of implementing this principle, advocating the advantages for consumers within their own service.