CEP Forum

The forum will discuss how services can meet the needs of those experiencing addictions and mental illness

With the Ministry of Health beginning to focus on the needs of the significant proportion of people who experience addiction issues alongside mental illness, regional DHBs have been required to reflect on how their services meet these needs and make plans for improvement.

Mental illness and addictions which occur together for people, referred to as Co-Existing Problems (CEP) in Ministry and DHB documents, are currently largely treated as separate health concerns, creating a situation where service users can find it difficult to have their needs met in a holistic way.

Plans such as the ‘Draft Canterbury Plan for Co-Existing Mental Health and Addictions Problems’ aim to outline how integrated services can be supportive of people with mental health and addictions diagnoses.

In response to this plan, Awareness, Canterbury’s mental health and addictions service user network, will be holding a forum for consumers to share their views on what helpful CEP services could look like, and for service providers to begin discussing how the NGO community sector can make use of CEP resources.

The need for community and peer support services aimed at meeting the needs of people with both mental health and addictions challenges is great. In holding this forum, Awareness hopes to support the process of developing services with consumer views taken into account.

Speakers confirmed for the forum include:
• Fraser Todd, Senior Lecturer at the National Addictions Centre
• Sandy McLean, Planning and Funding, CDHB, involved in developing the CEP plan
• Beth Nobes, Service Delivery Manager, Consumer Advocacy Services at MHAPS
• Angel Tanerau-Love, CEP peer advocate at MHAPS (Mental Health Advocacy and Peer Support)
• Marc Beecroft – Regional Alcohol and other Drugs consumer advisor on the Ministry of Health CEP steering group

The Awareness CEP forum will be held on Tuesday 27th March, 12.45-2.30pm at the Mental Health Education and Resource Centre (MHERC), 403a Worcester Street, Christchurch. Entry is free and open to all interested, including people who have used mental health or addictions services, service staff and mental health or addictions service managers.

Youth Mental Health Forum

On Thursday 16th February, Awareness held our first forum for the year, looking at current issues and research in youth mental health. Kelly Pope spoke on a research project she undertook last year as part of her sociology degree at Canterbury University, while researcher Mark Turner and peer support worker Phil Snape talked about the peer support program they have delivered and evaluated youth mental health service Totara House.

Kelly’s research looked at the transitions young people face when crossing the age barrier between youth and adult mental health service access, and highlighted the issues youth face with current service provision. A key finding of this research project was the identification of what is lacking in youth mental health care and young people’s suggestions for providing better support including improving access to crisis support in a comfortable environment, reducing waiting lists and introducing more support options, including mentoring type support, for transition-aged youth.

Flowing on well from this was the presentation by Phil and Mark about their work providing peer support to young adults in a group setting. Peer support is characterised by equal power relations between those running and those taking part in the groups and the mentoring role the support worker plays, drawing on their own experience of mental illness to connect with the people they are helping. Mark and Phil’s presentation showed the positive impact peer support can have for individuals, and the beginning of data collection that indicated increased wellbeing for support group attendees more broadly.

Thanks to all those who came along, we had great attendance with about 60 people there and it was a really successful day. For those interested in finding out more about youth mental health, we are selling copies of Kelly’s research report to raise funds for the seclusion DVD Awareness is producing and 298 Youth Health Centre, please email awareness.pctrust@xtra.co.nz if you would like a copy.

Forum – 16th February 2012

In a few weeks Awareness will be holding it’s first forum of the year with the Collaborative for research and training in youth health and development. Speakers at the forum will be discussing research with young people using mental health services and how services can support youth with experience of mental illness. This discussion will be of interest to people involved in research, support staff, service managers, consumers and young people and anyone is welcome to attend.

Date: Thursday 16th February 2012
Time: 12pm – 2pm
Location: Latnam House, 449 Colombo Street, entrance back door (off Battersea Street) (View map)

Kelly Pope: Young people’s experiences of transitions from youth mental health services

Undertaking a research internship for Korowai Youth Wellbeing Trust, student Kelly Pope chose to look into the experiences of young people leaving youth mental health services when they reach the service access cut-off of age 18.

Interest in this research topic stems from Kelly’s personal experience of using youth mental health services and working in the mental health field. She will be presenting the findings of the research including participants’ recommendations for service improvement.

Phil Snape & Mark Turner: Evaluating peer support in a youth mental health service

Peer Support, which involves people who have lived experience of mental illness providing support, has been shown to be beneficial to people experiencing psychosis.

With a gap in the research whether peer support is beneficial to young people, researcher Mark Turner and peer support worker Phil Snape, provided and evaluated a peer support program at early intervention for psychosis service Totara House.

Phil and Mark will be presenting on results of the support groups and feedback from those involved.

Afternoon tea will be provided