When I encounter yet another example of someone with mental ill-health getting inadequate support or treatment, I often find myself saying, “Would this happen if it was cancer?” I think the tangibility of a physical recovery such as a successful cancer treatment makes it easier for policy makers and politicians to allocate funding for these more demonstrable recoveries.
This is one reason why it is so important for us in the psychosocial domain to be able to provide data on the successful outcomes we achieve with our clients. Otherwise, overly medicalised models of mental health treatment will continue to remain the paradigm in the public imagination despite what we know about the importance of the social determinants of health.
This issue of Mind View introduces a major new innovation Mind is rolling out nationally that, among its benefits, will help put psychosocial recovery into high definition.
Mind has developed the My Better Life® conceptual model and planning tool to support clients to find a path to improved wellbeing. It is an evidence-based, co-designed and co-produced model that makes it easier for clients to discuss their needs, hopes and dreams.
Already Mind clients, in partnership with their support workers, are having fantastic success self-identifying their key goals for a better life, then creating a plan to achieve them and bringing them to fruition. You can read two case studies in this issue of clients who have done just that – and our thanks to Heather and Aimee for generously sharing their stories with us.
As well as helping clients to realise their goals, aggregated data from My Better Life plans® will also provide us with important data on client outcomes in different service settings, and on the life domains that the people who come to us for help consider most important for intervention for their future wellbeing.
Complementing My Better Life®, Mind has also developed a digital outcomes measurement survey. This is a self-evaluation tool by which a client can identify where they are across a spectrum of measures of mental health and broader wellbeing at the beginning and end of their support engagement with us – and also at intervals during that engagement if it is an extended one.
Comparing these evaluations from start to finish gives a client an opportunity to gauge their progress and satisfaction. Mind is also able - for the first time - to use the aggregated data of our clients to evaluate the success of all of our programs and services for continual service improvement.
I am very excited that this capacity to capture individual and aggregated client data will be something Mind will be able to share with the broader mental health sector, so we can all better delineate the proofs and pathways of sustained mental health recovery.
My Better Life® is the product of considerable work and collaboration between Mind’s Research and Advocacy, Quality and Practice, Learning and Development, and Digital Transformation teams, and the Queensland frontline staff and clients who piloted it. I am delighted to be part of an organisation achieving such positive innovation and collaboration.
Gill Callister PSM
Chief Executive Officer