The University of Melbourne, in collaboration with the Victorian Mental Illness Awareness Council (VMIAC) and Tandem, seek the experiences of service users, carers and mental health clinicians who are engaged with Mental Health Community Support Services in Victoria. The study aims to find ways to improve services and recovery. For more information click here or contact firstname.lastname@example.org | 1800 721 513.
Urbis is undertaking the Evaluation and Monitoring Project of the Partners in Recovery (PIR) initiative. They would like to hear feedback from those who access the PIR programme, including their family and friends. This is NOT an evaluation of individuals – clients and carers can feel free to make any comments they would like – we want to hear from anyone who has accessed the programme, and their carers, about their experiences with PIR.
Please find attached an information flyer regarding the PIR Client and Carer Forum.
University of Newcastle and Mission Australia Collaboration
The University of Newcastle and Mission Australia are collaborating to better understand the organisational requirements for implementing effective peer support work within community-based mental health services. The research asks "What needs to change in the organisation in order for peer support to be effective?" The emphasis is on the organisation changing to adapt to the ideologies and practices of peer support, rather than all the expectations being placed on peer support workers to adapt to the organisation.
The researchers aim to develop and expand peer support work and examine whether there are different recovery outcomes for clients at services where peer support workers are employed, compared to sites where there are no peer support workers. This would be an important contribution to the evidence base on peer support's effectiveness. Funding is currently being sought to undertake this study.
To access previous research on peer work from Prof. M. Gray and Dr. K Davies, see below.
Examining the potential for peer support work to enhance recovery-oriented practice
Lean on me: the potential for peer support in a non-government Australian mental health service
For further information contact Kate Davies at email@example.com or Professor Mel Gray firstname.lastname@example.org
By the Mental Elf
The length of time between onset of psychotic experience and support being offered by mental health services is referred to as the duration of untreated psychosis (DUP).
A meta-analysis published in Br-J-Psych last year (Penttilä, 2014) has suggested that there is a small correlation between increasing DUP and worsening outcomes over time. This small correlation, and the idea of withholding treatment, obviously mean that studies to demonstrate the efficacy of reducing DUP are not practical. However it can clearly be argued that if an individual is suffering with distressing psychotic experiences that early treatment and support represent a moral good in their own right. Reducing DUP has become a target for many mental health services.
The experience of psychosis is a complex phenomenon which is influenced by a myriad of personal and group psychological factors. Help-seeking in relation to psychotic experience is similarly complicated, and greater understanding of the manner in which individuals interact with families, communities and potential sources of support is needed.
In an effort to address this issue Connor (2014) and colleagues present their findings from a recent study seeking to explore the experience among families who sought help in relation to psychotic experiences, but for whom DUP was prolonged. The authors’ aims were:
[read the full story...]
The Centre for Health Communication and Participation at La Trobe University is seeking participants for a research project investigating the role of carers (family and friends) in protecting adult patients from medical errors and adverse events during hospitalisation.
Eligible carers will be asked to participate in a 60 minute interview with a researcher in person or via telephone/Skype – whichever is convenient for the participant. During the interview, participants will be asked about their role during their care recipient's recent hospitalisation, concerns they had about the hospital care, and how these concerns were managed.
For more information about this research, click here.
If you are a family member or a person who provides support for someone who has received a diagnosis of major depression, bipolar disorder, psychosis, or schizophrenia, researchers at Monash and Melbourne University would like to hear from you. The researchers are interested in speaking to carers about how they make important decisions about a loved one's mental health and wellbeing. The interview will take place at a time and place convenient for you, and will take approximately one hour or longer, depending on how much you would like to discuss.
For more information about this research, click here.
The Black Dog Institute and CRESP are looking for people who’ve had a suicide attempt or who care for someone who has had a suicide attempt to take part in a research project examining people’s experience of health services following a suicide attempt. Individuals must be aged 18 years or over, live in Australia and be proficient in reading and writing English. Participants will complete an online survey and/or participate in an interview.
Click here and look for the ‘Care after a suicide attempt study’.
My name is Fiona and I am a researcher at Swinburne University. I am writing to you to ask you for your help with a project that the University is currently doing. If you are interested and are a carer of someone who has experienced hearing voices or has been given a diagnosis of schizophrenia, schizoaffective disorder or psychosis then we would love to hear from you.
If you were to take part it would mean coming to Swinburne University for one to two 1-1.5 hour meetings. You will be reimbursed for each time you come to a meeting to cover any costs.
A bit of background
The Victorian Government has sponsored the setup of a website for people with experiences of psychosis, focussing on self-management and recovery. People can go to the website on their own or it can be used in sessions with mental health workers or used jointly together with a carer. The website will include video footage of consumers talking about their lived experience on a variety of topics as well as have exercises, information, tips and things to download and share with others.
In order to make this website we would like to get a group of people together for one to two 1-1.5 hour sessions to give ideas and provide feedback on the website as it is being designed in a group discussion format (we are calling this the Carer Reference Group). These groups are likely to be held in April or May 2014.
If you have any questions, are interested in participating or finding out more information, please email Fiona Foley on email@example.com or call 92145304.
Journal: Br J Soc Work (2011) doi: 10.1093/bjsw/bcr075 First published online: June 7, 2011
Increasing numbers of developed welfare states now operate cash-for-care schemes in which service users are offered cash payments in place of traditional social services. Such schemes raise concerns about the extent to which they include and support carers. This paper aims to explore some of these issues through an analysis of a cash-for-care initiative piloted in England in 2005–07: the Individual Budgets (IBs) pilot projects. The paper reports the findings of an evaluation of the impact and outcomes of IBs for carers through analyses of qualitative interviews with IB lead officers, carers' lead officers and carers of IB holders; and analyses of structured outcome interviews with carers of IB holders and carers of people in receipt of conventional social care services. The evaluation found that, despite their primary aim of increasing choice and control for the service user, IBs had a positive impact on carers of IB holders. The findings are important in that they have implications for the widespread roll-out of Personal Budgets in England and may also provide wider valuable lessons nationally and internationally about the tensions between policies to support carers and policies aimed at promoting choice and control by disabled and older people.
Seeking experts for a research of developing suicide first aid guidelines for people from immigrant and refugee backgrounds
We are currently seeking professionals and ‘lived experience’ advocates to join an expert panel for a research project that aims to develop guidelines to recognise possible warning signs and provide first aid assistance to people from immigrant and refugee backgrounds at risk of suicide. The guidelines are an extension of the suicide first aid guidelines currently being developed for English-speaking countries by the Mental Health First Aid (MHFA) team. This project is being undertaken by the Centre for International Mental Health, as part of the Mental Health in Multicultural Australia (MHiMA) consortium.
We are looking for individuals worldwide who meet any of the following criteria:
· Professionals who are suicide prevention experts through their clinical and/or research experience with people from immigrant and/or refugee background;
· ‘Lived experience’ advocates from immigrant or refugee background who have seriously thought about suicide or attempted suicide in the past;
· ‘Lived experience’ advocates who have someone close to them (e.g. family member) from immigrant or refugee background who has attempted suicide or taken his/her own life.
Participants must be willing to complete three rounds of the online questionnaire. The total time commitment for this project is estimated to be 3 hours. Participants are not required to attend any meetings as all contact will be via the internet or by post.
Once developed, these guidelines will provide guidance on giving appropriate support to someone from immigrant or refugee background at risk of suicide. The guidelines will be made freely available to download (e.g. from the Mental Health in Multicultural Australia website).
If you would like to read the Plain Language Statement, please visit this link.
If you would like to take part in this project (as ‘lived experience’ advocate and/or professional), nominate someone, or learn more, please contact Dr Erminia Colucci (firstname.lastname@example.org) or Ms Tiffany Too (email@example.com).
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