The Chief Psychiatrist wishes to share information about an important resource and training opportunity for engaging with the family and friends (carers) of people experiencing mental health issues. The “Practical Guide for Working with Carers of People with a Mental Illness” (the Practical Guide), is a nationwide initiative developed to increase engagement with the supportive family members and friends of a person experiencing mental health issues.
The Practical Guide has been developed by HelpingMinds and national partners, utilising a co-design approach with people with lived experience of mental health issues, either as consumers or carers, and clinicians. Evidence indicates, when clinical staff are able to engage with the service user’s carers, the therapeutic outcomes for patients and their family/carers will greatly improve.
HelpingMinds has been commissioned to provide Western Australian mental health services with the training and support required to embed the principles of the Practical Guide into service delivery. Consequently, this training assists services in meeting Standard 7: Carers, of the National Mental Health Standards.
The requirement from mental health services will be to:
- Allocate management to work through the Practical Guide Checklist with HelpingMinds;
- Enable the attendance of frontline staff at four training modules, each approximately 30 minutes (2 hours in total);
- Engage in conversations with carers that are critical to ensuring they have the full picture of what is occurring for their friend/family member.
The four (4) training modules include:
- Module 1: Identifying carers
- Module 2: Confidentiality and information sharing
- Module 3: Acknowledging carers within your service
- Module 4: Services for carers
The modules cover the 6 Partnership Standards in the Practical Guide:
- Partnership Standard 1: Carers and the essential role they play are identified at first contact, or as soon as possible thereafter.
- Partnership Standard 2: Staff are carer aware and trained in carer engagement strategies.
- Partnership Standard 3: Policy and practice protocols regarding confidentiality and sharing of information are in place.
- Partnership Standard 4: Defined staff positions are allocated for carers in all service settings.
- Partnership Standard 5: A carer introduction to the service and staff is available, with relevant range of information across the care settings.
- Partnership Standard 6: A range of carer support services is available.
If you have any questions, please contact Taryn Houghton, Head of Community Engagement at HelpingMinds, at firstname.lastname@example.org or 08 9427 7100.