INTRgr8: Integrating NGO partners with Totara House to promote Recovery

Richard  Grist1, Elisa Mcconnochie1, Eleanor Baggott1

1Totara House, Canterbury District Health Board, Christchurch, New Zealand

Background: Totara House, an Early Intervention in Psychosis Service (EIP), supports young adults experiencing first-episode psychosis. The project integrates support workers from two NGO organisations with the aim of improving social recovery and physical health outcomes. Physical health and social recovery are priority areas for EIP, given that poor outcomes here can lead to compromised physical health and poorer overall recovery rates. The project has involved key allied health professionals.

Method: In mid-2016 an NGO Employment Consultant began delivering a dedicated employment service to Totara clients. By mid-2017 this expanded to include two dedicated Community Support Workers and a Health Coach. This was achieved by NGO managers streamlining referral processes to allow for specific workers to be allocated to Totara. This enables NGO workers to hold dedicated Totara caseloads, attend team meetings, participate in shared-care planning and engage with clients easily. Prior to the project, allocations of NGO workers were inconsistent, and uptake was low, to the detriment of social recovery and physical health outcomes. The project was evaluated by a survey in mid-2018 which canvassed the views of clients, family members, NGO staff and Totara staff.

Results: 26 surveys were returned and provided very positive feedback on the project. This included: Increased engagement by service users with NGO staff, increased activity and improvements relating to social recovery and physical health; NGO staff reported feeling valued and supported by the Totara team; and Totara staff highlighted the improved access to NGO workers and more effective communication between the different aspects of a client’s overall care package.

Discussion: This project has demonstrated that optimised allocation of NGO resources and integration with State mental health care, can lead to improved outcomes for clients and more effective staff relationships, without additional resources.

Biography: To be confirmed

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