Assessment 3B: Evaluation Report
This is the second part of Assessment 3 and done in conjunction with Part A; this assessment will not be marked if you have not presented the role play to your tutor.
Write a report critically reviewing, analysing, and evaluating your chosen mental health service agency in Australia (from your own state). Conduct your own research and analyse the agency’s current services and frameworks in its mental health practice.
You must ensure you cover the following:
- Analyze the community services theories and frameworks of your chosen mental health organization (identify this organization in your Introduction).
- Explain the application of community services professional practice and competencies within appropriate ethical and professional standards for mental health.
- Demonstrate your knowledge of mental health and the community.
- Analyse thoroughly the current mental health practice within Australia.
- Critically analyse issues associated with mental health and vulnerable members of the community in Australia, considering relevant ethical considerations and provide examples.
- Assess the impacts of mental health issues on different community groups.
- Demonstrate an understanding of the practice of mental health community work.
- Report results/outcomes from the interview (Assessment 3A)
SANE Australia is a charity organisation for mental health that provides support, education, and advocacy for those afflicted by mental illness.
Mission Australia is a non-profit organisation that provides disadvantaged Australians with a variety of community services, including mental health services.
Community services theories and frameworks
The organization uses several theories and frameworks to guide their community services, including:
- Recovery-Oriented Practice: SANE Australia emphasizes a recovery-oriented approach to mental health, which focuses on a person’s strengths, hopes, and aspirations. The organization works with people affected by mental illness to identify and achieve their goals, build resilience, and develop meaningful relationships and connections (Dharni & Coates, 2018).
- Trauma-Informed Care: SANE Australia recognizes that many people affected by mental illness have experienced trauma. Therefore, the organization provides trauma-informed care.
- Social Model of Health: SANE Australia’s community services are based on the social model of health, which recognizes that mental health is influenced by social, economic, and environmental factors. The organization works to address the social determinants of mental health and reduce the stigma associated with mental illness (Looi et al., 2020).
The organization uses several theories and frameworks to guide their community services, including:
- Person-Centered Care: Mission Australia emphasizes a person-centered approach to mental health, which involves working collaboratively with individuals, families, and communities to identify their needs, preferences, and goals. The organization recognizes that people are experts in their own lives and tailors its services accordingly (Jayawardana & Gannon, 2021).
- Strengths-Based Practice: Mission Australia adopts a strengths-based approach catering resources, and capabilities. The organization works to empower people affected by mental illness to take control of their lives and reach their full potential.
- Trauma-Informed Care: Mission Australia provides trauma-informed care that recognizes the impact of trauma on mental health and wellbeing. The organization works to create a safe, supportive, and empowering environment that promotes healing and recovery (Jayawardana & Gannon, 2021).
Thus both SANE Australia and Mission Australia use a range of theories and frameworks to guide their community services for mental health. These approaches prioritize individuals’ needs, strengths, and aspirations and recognize the importance of addressing social, economic, and environmental factors that influence mental health.
Practice and competencies
First is the collaboration between mental health professionals and other stakeholders which involves understanding and respecting cultural differences, tailoring services to suit the specific needs of individuals, and ensuring cultural appropriateness.Mental health professionals must provide person-centered care, which entails collaborating with individuals and families to develop a care plan that reflects their preferences, objectives, and needs (Petrakis et al., 2019).
Mental health professionals are required to be able to employ evidence-based practise in their work. This includes utilising the best available evidence to guide decisions and interventions, keeping abreast of the latest research and developments in the field, and continuously evaluating and adapting practise based on new evidence. Mental health professionals must adhere to ethical and professional standards, including confidentiality, informed consent, and boundaries (Sankaranarayanan et al., 2010).
My knowledge of mental health and community
Multiple factors, including genetics, life experiences, and social and economic conditions, can influence mental health (AIHW, 2021). For promoting mental health and preventing mental illness, community support is also essential. The community can provide a supportive and inclusive environment that encourages help-seeking behaviours, fosters social connections, and reduces stigma. This may involve establishing safe spaces, fostering a sense of belonging, and promoting mental health-promoting activities such as exercise, meditation, and art therapy.
It is also necessary to address social determinants of mental health, such as poverty, discrimination, and social isolation, when confronting mental health at the community level. Community organisations can collaborate to resolve these factors, promote social justice and equity, and ensure that all individuals have access to the necessary resources and support to maintain good mental health (Rickwood et al., 2015). Mental health is a global concern that affects both individuals and communities. Promoting mental health and supporting individuals and families afflicted by mental illness requires community-based mental health services, social support, and addressing social determinants of mental health.
The community plays a vital role in promoting mental health and supporting individuals affected by mental illness. Community-based mental health services are critical in providing accessible, affordable, and culturally responsive care to individuals and families. Some examples of community-based mental health services include counseling services, support groups, crisis hotlines, and peer support programs.
Community support is also essential for promoting mental health and preventing mental illness. The community can provide a supportive and inclusive environment that promotes social connections, reduces stigma, and encourages help-seeking behaviors. This can include creating safe spaces, fostering a sense of belonging, and promoting activities that promote mental health, (Rickwood et al., 2015). Mental health is a critical issue that affects individuals and communities worldwide. Community-based mental health services, social support, and addressing social determinants of mental health are all essential in promoting mental health and supporting individuals and families affected by mental illness.
Analysis of current mental health practice in Australia
Mental health practice within Australia has undergone significant changes over the past few decades, with a greater focus on community-based care and early intervention. Despite these positive changes, there are still challenges and areas for improvement within the mental health system.
One of the most significant challenges facing mental health practice in Australia is access to care. While community-based mental health services have improved, there are still issues with wait times, particularly for specialist care. This can result in individuals not receiving timely care, which can lead to worsening symptoms and poorer outcomes (Rickwood et al., 2015). Another challenge is the integration of mental health care with physical health care. Indifferent attitude to this can result in poor health outcomes for individuals with comorbid physical and mental health conditions.
Stigma and discrimination are also significant issues facing mental health practice in Australia. While there have been efforts to reduce stigma and promote mental health awareness, negative attitudes and beliefs about mental illness still persist. This can lead to individuals being reluctant to seek help, resulting in delayed or inadequate care. While there are still challenges facing mental health practice in Australia, there have been significant improvements in recent years. Continued investment in community-based mental health services, addressing stigma and discrimination, and integrating mental health care with other health services will be essential in improving mental health outcomes for individuals and communities in Australia.
Issues along with relevant ethical considerations
Mental health issues are prevalent among vulnerable members of the community in Australia, such as Indigenous people, refugees and asylum seekers, people experiencing homelessness, and people with disabilities. There are several issues including access to care, stigma and discrimination, and the impact of social determinants of health (Tambyah et al., 2022).
Access to care is a significant issue facing vulnerable members of the community. They may face barriers such as geographic isolation, language barriers, or financial constraints that prevent them from accessing mental health services. For example, Indigenous Australians living in remote communities may have limited access to mental health services, which can lead to a lack of early intervention and treatment for mental health issues. Stigma and discrimination are also significant issues faced by vulnerable members of the community in Australia (Coates et al., 2018). The impact of social determinants of health, such as poverty and social exclusion, can also have a significant impact on mental health outcomes for vulnerable members of the community. For example, people experiencing homelessness may have limited access to safe housing, food, and other basic needs, which can lead to increased stress and anxiety.
Ethical considerations are also relevant in mental health care for vulnerable members of the community. Mental health practitioners have a responsibility to ensure that care is provided in a culturally safe and respectful manner. This may include recognizing the impact of historical trauma on Indigenous Australians and providing trauma-informed care (Parslow & Jorm, 2000).
Mental health issues are prevalent among vulnerable members of the community in Australia, and there are several issues associated with access to care, stigma and discrimination, and the impact of social determinants of health. Mental health practitioners must consider relevant ethical considerations when providing care to vulnerable members. Addressing these issues requires a coordinated effort across government, non-government organizations, and the community.
Effect of mental health on different community groups
Mental health issues can have significant effects on various Australian community groups. These effects can vary based on age, gender, ethnicity, culture, and socioeconomic status, among other variables.
Mental health issues can affect the development and education of children and adolescents, resulting in difficulties with learning, socialisation, and emotional regulation.
Indigenous Australians: The higher prevalence of mental health issues among Indigenous Australians can be attributed to historical trauma, social determinants of health, and systemic prejudice. Indigenous Australians can be negatively affected by mental health issues, resulting in increased rates of suicide and substance abuse (Jorm & Kitchener, 2021).
Refuges and other people lacking household, as in this case John, may experience mental health problems as a result of traumatic experiences in their native country or during the migration process. Mental health issues such as PTSD and depression can hinder a person’s ability to adapt to a new country, leading to socialisation and integration difficulties.
Due to stigma, discrimination, and intimidation, members of the LGBTQ+ community may experience mental health problems. Mental health issues such as anxiety and depression can have a negative impact on an individual’s overall health and increase their risk of self-harm and suicide.
5. Older Adults: Depression and anxiety are prevalent among older adults, which can hinder their ability to function independently and sustain social connections. Additionally, mental health issues can increase the risk of dementia and other cognitive disorders (Fauk et al., 2020).
Due to the difficulties associated with their disability and social isolation, individuals with disabilities may experience mental health problems. Mental health issues such as anxiety and depression can have a negative impact on their overall health and independence.
Practice of mental health community work
It involves working with individuals, families, and communities to promote mental health, prevent mental illness, and provide early intervention and treatment for mental health issues. Mental health community workers may include mental health clinicians, peer support workers, case managers, and outreach workers. Mental health community work involves providing mental health support and services within the community setting. It focuses on promoting mental health, preventing mental illness, and providing early intervention and treatment for mental health issues. Mental health community workers use a holistic approach to mental health, engage with the community, provide culturally sensitive and trauma-informed services, and promote recovery-oriented practice (Khoo et al., 2019; Young et al., 2017). The aim is to empower individuals to take control of their mental health and live fulfilling lives. Mental health community workers play a critical role in addressing mental health issues within the community, improving the well-being and quality of life for individuals and communities.
Report from interview
In John’s case, SANE Australia’s helpline could be a good starting point. He could call their helpline and speak to a mental health professional who could provide support, information, and guidance on how to manage his anxiety and depression. SANE Australia’s peer support program could also be beneficial for John, as he could be matched with a trained volunteer who has gone through similar experiences and can offer practical and emotional support.
Mission Australia’s homelessness support services could help John find stable accommodation, which is critical for his well-being and recovery. They could also provide him with food, clothing, and other basic necessities. Additionally, Mission Australia’s mental health services could help John address his depression and anxiety through counseling and support groups.
It’s important to note that John may require additional support, such as medical care or legal assistance. In this case, SANE Australia and Mission Australia could work together to provide him with comprehensive support and refer him to other services as needed.
Coates, D., Saleeba, C., & Howe, D. (2018). Profile of consumers and their partners of a perinatal and infant mental health (PIMH) service in Australia. Health and Social Care in the Community, 26(1). https://doi.org/10.1111/hsc.12489
Dharni, A., & Coates, D. (2018). Psychotropic medication profile in a community youth mental health service in Australia. Children and Youth Services Review, 90. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.childyouth.2018.05.007
Jayawardana, D., & Gannon, B. (2021). Use of telehealth mental health services during the COVID-19 pandemic. In Australian Health Review (Vol. 45, Issue 4). https://doi.org/10.1071/AH20325
Khoo, J., Hasan, H., & Eagar, K. (2019). Utilisation patterns of privately funded mental health services in Australia. Journal of Health Organization and Management, 33(1). https://doi.org/10.1108/JHOM-02-2018-0062
Looi, J. C. L., Allison, S., & Bastiampillai, T. (2020). Commonwealth of common mental health: the need for a comprehensive overhaul of corporate governance in mental healthcare in Australia. Australasian Psychiatry, 28(3). https://doi.org/10.1177/1039856219891657
Parslow, R. A., & Jorm, A. F. (2000). Who uses mental health services in Australia? An analysis of data from the National Survey of Mental Health and Wellbeing. Australian and New Zealand Journal of Psychiatry, 34(6). https://doi.org/10.1046/j.1440-1614.2000.00839.x
Rickwood, D., Van Dyke, N., & Telford, N. (2015). Innovation in youth mental health services in Australia: Common characteristics across the first headspace centres. Early Intervention in Psychiatry, 9(1). https://doi.org/10.1111/eip.12071
Tambyah, R., Olcoń, K., Allan, J., Destry, P., & Astell-Burt, T. (2022). Mental health clinicians’ perceptions of nature-based interventions within community mental health services: evidence from Australia. BMC Health Services Research, 22(1). https://doi.org/10.1186/s12913-022-08223-8
Young, S. J., Praskova, A., Hayward, N., & Patterson, S. (2017). Attending to physical health in mental health services in Australia: a qualitative study of service users’ experiences and expectations. Health and Social Care in the Community, 25(2). https://doi.org/10.1111/hsc.12349