Co-design workshop: Youth outcomes in Murrindindi Shire

Co-design workshop: Youth outcomes in Murrindindi Shire

In 2019, Alaya Partners consultant and senior partner, Renee Hayden, was engaged by Murrindindi Shire Council to facilitate a co-design workshop to develop a youth mental health model to improve mental health outcomes for young people in Murrindindi Shire.

Delivered in Yea, a rural community in Victoria, the workshop aimed to brainstorm potential approaches to youth services in the community and surrounds and build collective buy-in from local stakeholders to act the identified opportunities. Twenty five people from 19 organisations, including youth and other services, the high schools and the hospital as well as representatives from Murray PHN, Department of Education and Training, and Department of Health and Human Services participated in the codesign.

Participants completed a pre-workshop questionnaire to inform the co-design outline, ensuring the facilitator touched on known critical issues and resources in the area. Participants were then led through a series of discussion based activities to explore the following topics:

  • Core health and welfare themes and issues impacting young people in Yea / Alexandra and surrounds
  • Known organisations delivering services to young people in the Shire
  • Gaps in services
  • Best practice – youth models for consideration, including a presentation from Live4Life CEO Bernard Gallbally
  • Identifying funding opportunities and community investment / ownership.

Idea generation activities then centred on how to build community engagement and ownership and the key components of a model (such as Live4Life) that would address the needs of area’s young people, with participants identifying three focus areas for the codesign model:

  1. Mental health: Mild – Moderate Support
  2. Sense of belonging/community connection
  3. Physical health (self care knowledge & implementation)).

The immediate workshop outcomes were:

  1. Alaya summarised the codesign findings into a succinct report.
  2. Stakeholders establishing a working party to develop future funding submissions
  3. Agree collective community engagement activities in conjunction with Murrindindi Shire Council.

Talk to us to find out how we can help you get the best out of your workshop.

Image Credit: Bren O’Callaghan via Flickr Creative Commons

Let’s Talk About Children – Workforce Pilot Program

Let’s Talk About Children – Workforce Pilot Program

Alaya Partners has joined forces with the National Workforce Centre for Child Mental Health – Emerging Minds to develop a hybrid training program for mental health clinicians interested in working to improve the mental health outcomes of children ( aged 0-12).  Alaya has sponsored this workforce pilot program in hopes to:

  • Expand the current clinical scope of regional mental health clinicians working with Alaya’s clinical partner APMHA HealthCare Ltd.
  • Minimise the gaps in available and appropriate mental health services for children in regional Victoria
  • Expand this program, if successful to other regions in Australia where gaps in available and appropriate mental health clinicians are evident

The Emerging Minds National Workforce Centre for Child Mental Health initiative aims to  improve the mental health outcomes of children by assisting professionals within the field refine their skill in identifying, assessing and supporting children at risk of mental health conditions. Within this partnership, Emerging Minds has provided a blended 3 month program consisting of eLearning, reflective assessments and face to face workshops. This program aims to inform and support mental health clinicians working with children in PHN programs. This pilot program has now commenced and a decision on whether to expand this program to other areas of Australia will likely occur in 2020.

Image Credit: Suzanne Berton via Flickr Creative Commons

Mental Health & Hep C in General Practice

Mental Health & Hep C in General Practice

Alaya Partners has consulted with Gilead Sciences Inc. to deliver specialised training to general practice in the Murray PHN and Western Victoria PHN regions. This workshop expanded on Alaya’s successful GP training ‘Mental Health in General Practice – Simplifying the process in every day practice’ by incorporating atypical client cohorts at risk of/are experiencing mental illness or Hepatitis C.

Australia is leading the world in eliminating Hepatitis C (Hep C) and general practice continue to play a leading role in the treatment. Both Murray PHN and Western Victoria PHN regions have been identified as districts where treatment screening and linking to care is lagging. Similarly, referrals and information sent to Alaya’s clinical partner APMHA HealthCare indicate that further support and education in general practice around mental health was also warranted.

In response to this evidence, this workshop was developed and made available to GPS, GP Registrars, Practice Nurses and Practice Managers in order to improve overall diagnosis and referrals in Hepatitis C and Mental Health. This training focused on considering atypical Hep C and Mental Health cohorts at risk within a rural primary care environment (RACGP & CPD points were awarded). By redefining what today’s at risk populations may look like, the training aims to:

  • Highlight the importance of reviewing and updating processes and systems in a general practice setting to ensure optimal use of software and good clinical care
  • Provide an update of referral pathways for both Hep C and Mental Health
  • Arm general practitioners with relevant and appropriate resources.

After 9 sessions successful workshops, Alaya Partners and Gilead Science have continued to work collaboratively in the development of further resources, education and events for general practice.

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The Risky Drinking Project

The Risky Drinking Project

Drinking alcohol in excess, or binge drinking, often goes undetected in our communities until alcohol related harms occur.

Alcohol screening and brief interventions (S&BI) have shown to be widely effective, however many primary care settings have had difficulty introducing this as a routine practice. In 2017, Murray PHN Needs Assessment indicated a number of alarming statistics including that “increases in ED presentations for AOD abuse induced mental health disorders and alcohol related deaths sitting at 33% above the Victorian average.”

In response to this, Murray PHN engaged Alaya to implement the Risky Drinking Project: Screening & Brief Interventions in General Practice to:

  • Improve early interventions for people considered to be ‘at risk’
  • Reduce harm associated with alcohol consumption and substance misuse
  • Engage and upskill general practice more broadly in alcohol screening and brief intervention.

Now in 2019, Murray PHN has commissioned Alaya to build on previous Risky Drinking Project activity in the current General Practice Investment Strategy – Embedding Screening & Brief Intervention in General Practice.

Though this project, Alaya will work with six general practice cluster groups to:

  • Develop a Community of Practice for the nurses employed within the clusters and build capacity of primary care staff to understand/embed S&BI (including use of AUDIT tool,etc.)
  • Develop new/amend existing resources, medical software templates and web pages (eg Risky Drinking Project resources)
  • Increase the knowledge of AOD screening and brief intervention tools in primary care. This will include CPD/RACGP applicable training, mentoring and more general troubleshooting support
  • Increase the use of screening tools and the delivery of Brief Intervention for alcohol consumption and substance misuse within the General Practice setting.

Over the coming months, Alaya will begin to roll out phase 2 of this project in alignment with the above response.

Talk to us about our other change management projects in the primary care sector or check out our Risky Drinking page full of resources for clinicians, primary care staff and clients.

Caring for Carers

Caring for Carers

In 2019, Alaya’s Master Mental Health First Aid (MHFA) trainer rolled out a training program for carers, family and friends of clients in the Primary Mental Health Clinical Care Coordination (PMHCCC) Program. PMHCCC is a Murray PHN funded program supporting people with moderate to severe mental illness. The PHN funded this training to build the community’s capacity to support mental illness.

Alaya recommended the Standard MHFA as it teaches people how to support others experiencing mental health symptoms or a mental health crisis. The course included:

  • Evidence based information to guide effective support
  • Clear guides for signs and symptoms of mental illness
  • An action plan to guide community members
  • Manuals from BeyondBlue and MHFA Australia.

The community’s response to this training exceeded both Alaya’s and the PHN’s expectations. Within 2 weeks of our first advertisement, we had to close registrations and create a waiting list!

The need for this type of support is highlighted by the heartfelt gratitude expressed by carer participants:

“The benefits of [the course] will last a lifetime, and I have already used what I learned, many times, since finishing the course.”

“I like the idea of having people around Shepparton trained to connect with others when they are struggling and unable to ask for help. I think there is certain emotional processing techniques that can be learnt by everyone. You could take the burden off emergency and train carers and workers with these techniques.”

“Best thing I ever done. Helps me not only with supporting and assisting others but also with my own mental health. Great content.”

An unanticipated outcome from holding the course is that consumers began sending requests to participate, having heard from their loved ones how MHFA helped them to better understand how to articulate their needs and feelings to others.

Building a community’s capacity to better respond to and support people with a mental illness through courses like Mental Health First Aid is an investment for any organisation or community group – private sector employers, local councils, community groups and governments.

Contact us to discuss hosting a Mental Health First Aid course.

Image Credit: Push Doctor via Flickr Creative Commons
Building regional capacity to support mental illness

Building regional capacity to support mental illness

Alaya Partners has been funded by Murray PHN to build community and sector capacity to respond to mental illness effectively. This funding was distributed in response to this regions most recent population health needs analysis. The analysis indicated a need to improve service access and community understanding for clients living with more severe/complex mental illness. As an active provider of education and resources in the Goulburn Valley region, Alaya has responded by developing the following support:

  • Training packages to primary care practitioners. This aims to increase their confidence, skills and knowledge when working with clients with severe/complex mental illness.
  • Update and refine current medical software templates to ensure they support and guide primary care practitioners. This includes information to support clients with co-morbidity and tips to align care plans to recovery oriented principals
  • Implement consistent approaches to client assessment and support in the region. This was done by introducing the Recovery Star model to mental health clinicians working with severe/complex mental illness.
  • Deliver Mental Health First Aid training to support networks (carers, family and friends) of those clients living with mental illness. This aims to better equip them to understand and support their loved ones and/or clients.

Overall, the implementation of more effective support around general practice and primary care practitioners (as service advocates and referrers) has improve the accuracy of mental health pathway access for clients in Goulburn Valley. Working with primary care to improve medical software templates has also improved the comprehensiveness of Mental Health Treatment Plans conducted on behalf of clients.

Image Credit: Duncan Cunningham-Reid via Flickr Creative Commons