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Lucy Jestin and Richelle Searles - Be Well Program


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Presentation by Lucy Jestin and Richelle Seales. Womens Health and Family Services, Be Well program. Presented at the Western Australian Mental Health Conference 2019.

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Lucy Jestin and Richelle Searles - Be Well Program

  1. 1. Lucy Jestin - Mental Health Worker Richelle Searles - Mental Health Worker
  2. 2. “I acknowledge the Traditional Owners of the land the Whadjuk people of the Noongar Nation on which we are meeting. I pay my respects to their Elders, past and present, and emerging”
  3. 3. • Working in Women’s health and family services for over 2 years. • Masters in Social Work • 20 + years experience working in various areas of community services including child protection, domestic violence, mental health, and drug & alcohol services. • Skills: psychosocial assessment, counselling (1:1 and group), triage, case management, outreach and advocacy.
  4. 4. • Working in Women’s health and family services for 10 months. • Bachelor of Science (hons) • TAFE cert IV’s in youth work, drug and alcohol work. • Studying Psychology at the University of Western Australia. • 10 years of experience working in the fields of research, mental health, addictions, residential services, animal-assisted therapy and youth work. • Skills: psychosocial assessment, counselling (1:1 and group), triage, case management, outreach and advocacy.
  5. 5. PART ONE: Program introduction PART TWO: Program principles and outcomes PART THREE: Research and women centric care PART FOUR: Future directions PART FIVE: Case study
  6. 6. What is the biggest barrier for people who are attempting to access mental health support?
  7. 7. Be Well - Introduction
  8. 8. • Be Well is a program of Womens Health and Family Services (WHFS) which assists women experiencing severe and enduring mental illness, through group and individual support structures. • The program aims to encapsulate six domains of wellbeing and promotion of recovery; - daily living - financial/legal - work/education - leisure/social - family relationships, and - health (physical/mental/emotional).
  9. 9. • Be Well offers an 8 week open group format within each school term (4 per year) • Participants can join at any point after an initial assessment and can stay involved for an extended period of time (average participation is 12 months) • Individual support sessions are available and participants are encouraged to attend, to assist them to work toward their individual goals • 8 week art therapy program runs twice a year utilizing a qualified art therapist • Six social outings available for participants each year
  10. 10. • Potential participants are required to attend an initial assessment • Be Well has minimal exclusion criteria – the program welcomes people from diverse and disadvantaged backgrounds, those who have dual diagnoses, people struggling with addiction, domestic and family violence, trauma and/or financial hardship. • Essentially, it assists those most at risk of “falling through the cracks” access to professional support and social interaction.
  11. 11. • As part of the intake process all participants complete a ‘Wellness Action Recovery Plan’ (WRAP) to identify areas of needs, strengths and establish steps to work toward achievable goals. • Quarterly, within individual sessions and once each group term, participants are given an opportunity to assess their progress using a modified ‘Star Tracker.’
  12. 12. Client demographic data from the last 6 months only. Number of clients :56 20+ 15% 30+ 25% 40+ 28% 50+ 21% 60+ 11% Age Range Australia 64% other 36% Country of Origin
  13. 13. single 36% married/defacto 29% separated/ divorced 14% not stated 21% Marital status employed 22% unemployed 42% home duties 13% not stated 23% Employment status Client demographic data from the last 6 months only; Number of clients :56
  14. 14. Mental Health or PTSD 34% Depression, Anxiety, Panic 30% Emotional Regulation & Stress 9% AOD Use – Own 9% Family & Domestic Vioence, Physical/Emotional abuse 2% Grief & loss 2% Isolation 5% Family, Relationships, Separation 5% Sexual Assault/Abuse 2% Vocational & Work Related 2%
  15. 15. • Budgeting & finance problems • Eviction & homelessness • Other Psychiatric illness • Health & well-being concerns • Parenting issues • Trauma
  16. 16. Program principles & outcomes
  17. 17. • DAILY LIVING: • Nutrition • Encouraging movement • SMART goal setting • Transport assistance • FINANCIAL/LEGAL: • Advocacy support services • Budgeting • Referrals to financial counselling / centrelink information • Emergency relief
  18. 18. • LEISURE/SOCIAL: • Group outings (Art gallery, Hyde park, lunch) • Coffee mornings and support/recovery group • Art Therapy • Mindful movement and munching • School holiday activities • WORK/EDUCATION: • Career information and goal setting • Referrals to parents next internally • Cert II in Leadership
  19. 19. • FAMILY RELATIONSHIPS: • Referrals to Domestic violence & family therapy services • Relationship discussions in support group • Free Creche support • Referrals to “kids in focus” internally • HEALTH (Physical/Mental/Emotional): • Physical – internal clinic, nutrition / cooking, movement/dance/yoga • Mental – support & recovery group, 1:1 support/counselling face-face/phone, psychoeducation, peer support
  20. 20. 0 5 10 15 20 25 30 35 40 45 50 Daily Living Health Leisure/social work/education Family Percentage Life Domain Poor Fair Good Very good
  21. 21. • “A nice variety of topics, fun and informative.” • “I have somewhere to go out to be with other women, and be safe to be myself. There is no threat to my safety.” • “It helped my mental health meeting people with mental illness like me.” • “I thought it was very helpful for my mental health, moods and I met some lovely people.”
  22. 22. Research and women centric care
  23. 23. • Prevalence and course of mental health issues, including different impacts of biological, psychological and social factors in causation (Judd et al, 2009). • Prevalence of internalizing and externalizing disorders, with women presenting with higher rates of mood and anxiety disorders, than men, for example (Eaton et al, 2011). • This underlies the importance of women-centred mental healthcare models. Treatments should be informed by knowledge and understanding of gender differences (Judd et al, 2009).
  24. 24. • Research studies support gender-focused prevention and treatment interventions (Eaton et al, 2011). • A sense of belonging and cohesiveness is fostered, that is developed by clients key commonalities and shared focus around the group topics and tasks (Golden & Dominiak, 1986). • Women report higher satisfaction, and greater improvement in post-treatment reduction of AOD use (Greenfield et al, 2007). • Women more frequently report feelings of safety, empathy, intimacy and honesty, embracing all aspects of one’s self, and having their needs met (Greenfield,2013)
  25. 25. • They promoted focus on gender-relevant topics that support client recovery (Greenfield, 2013). • Women with sexual abuse histories that are more likely to complete and attend treatment programs than those clients attending mixed groups (Copeland & Hall, 1992). • Participants describe the groups as empowering because of no gender differences in communication, and providing a forum for frank discussions (ie: sexual and physical issues) that may be impossible in mixed-gender groups (Alexander, 1996).
  26. 26. • Female-only groups provide enormous benefits to women including increased motivation, increased levels of disclosure and access to appropriate support (Sugarman, et al., 2016). • One of the main aims of Womens Health and Family Services is to provide integrated, comprehensive, quality and gender specific services for women and their families.
  28. 28. • Improved data collation: • Pre & Post-evaluation forms • WHFS client satisfaction survey • Wellness Recovery Action Plans • Quarterly tracker (individual) • Term tracker (group)
  29. 29. • Peer Support: Increase peer support training and opportunities for clients who self-elect. • Carer support: Introduction of support for carers/family members of those supporting someone who experiences mental health issues • Continuous improvement: Increased support and formalised relapse prevention planning for longer term clients. • Graduation: Marked occasion for longer term clients leaving the program to acknowledge and celebrate their time and progress
  30. 30. CASE STUDY
  31. 31. Please contact: Womens Health & Family Services Northbridge: 6330 5400 Joondalup: 9300 1566 Email: Web:
  32. 32. Alexander, M.J. (1996). Women with co-occurring addictive and mental disorders: An emerging profile of vulnerability. American Journal of Orthopsychiatry. 66(1), 61-70. Copeland, J., & Hall, W.D. (1992). A comparison of predictors of treatment drop-out of women seeking drug and alcohol treatment in a specialist women's and two traditional mixed-sex treatment services. British journal of addiction. 87(6), 883- 890. Eaton, N.R., Keyes, K.M., Krueger, R. F., Balsis, S., Skodol, A.E., Markon, K. E., Grant, B.F., & Hasin, D.S. (2011). An invariant dimensional liability model of gender differences in mental disorder prevalence: Evidence from a National Sample. Journal of Abnormal Psychology, 121(1), 282-288. Golden, D L. & Dominiak, G.M. (1986). Single-gender group psychotherapy: a "women’s group" for adolescent inpatients. Group, 10(4), 217-227. Greenfield, S.F., Cummings, A.M., Kuper, L.E., Wigderson, S.B., & Koro-Ljungberg, M. (2013). A qualitative analysis of women’s experiences in single-gender versus mixed-gender substance abuse group therapy. Substance Use and Misuse. 48(9), 772–782. Greenfield, S.F., Truccob, E.M., McHugh, R.K., Lincoln, M., & Gallop. R J. (2007). The Women’s Recovery Group Study: A Stage I trial of women-focused group therapy for substance use disorders versus mixed-gender group drug counseling. Drug and Alcohol Dependence. 90(1): 39–47. Judd, F., Armstrong, S., & Kulkarni, J.(2009). Gender-sensitive mental health care. Australasian Psychiatry. 17(2), 105-111. Manuel, J.I., Hinterland, K., Conover, S., & Herman, D.B. (2012). ‘‘I hope I can make it out there’’: Perceptions of women with severe mental illness on the transition from hospital to community. Community Mental Health Journal 48, 302– 308. Sugarman, D.E., Wigderson, S.B., Iles, B.R., Kaufman, J.S., Fitzmaurice, G.M., Hilario, Y., Robbins, M.S., & Greenfield, S. F. (2016). Measuring affiliation in group therapy for substance use disorders in the Women’s Recovery Group Study: Does it matter whether the group is all-women or mixed-gender? American Journal of Addiction. 25(7): 573–580.