Engage Aotearoa

Category Archives: Research

Save the Date: 8th Service User Academia Symposium

*** Spread the word – Save the date! ***

The 8th Service User Academia Symposium is on it’s way 

Thursday 15th & Friday 16th November 2018

The University of Melbourne, FBE Building, 111 Barry Street Carlton AUSTRALIA 3053

Contact Dr Sarah Gordon for more information sarah.e.gordon@otago.ac.nz

Last year’s event in Wellington was a full house that saw service-user academics from across New Zealand, Australia and the UK come together to share ideas.

Robert Whitaker reviews the evidence on antidepressants

Robert Whitaker has written a critical review of the antidepressant literature for the Mad in America website.

The review has three parts.

  • “The evidence for the efficacy of antidepressants over the short term in RCTs, which is the evidence that psychiatry relies on to claim that the drugs “work.”
  • The evidence for the effectiveness of antidepressants over the short term in “real-world” patients.
  • The evidence regarding their long-term effectiveness in real-world patients.

This broader review of the research literature does then lead to a dichotomous question for society. Do antidepressants, as they are being prescribed now, “work” for society? Do they produce a public health benefit?”

Read the full article Do Antidepressants Work: A People’s Review of the Evidence here.

New Research: Support makes a difference in antipsychotic medication withdrawal

An important part of Miriam’s doctoral research and some further analysis has just been published in Social Psychiatry and Psychiatric Epidemiology. You can follow this link to view a copy of the full text online, but will need a subscription to download a pdf copy to keep:  https://rdcu.be/MpKs

Here’s a screenshot of the abstract for quick reference…

Abstract Attempting to Stop Antipsychotic Medication Success Supports and Efforts to Cope

The efficacy of a text messaging intervention for anxiety and depression among young people

One of Engage Aotearoa’s recovery resources, the Small Victories challenge, was included in the pilot of a text-messaging programme for young people with depression and anxiety at Youthline. The results of the evaluation were published last year in the Children and Youth Services Review.

Abstract
Background: Depression and anxiety are among the most commonly experienced mental health issues faced by young people in Aotearoa, New Zealand. Considerable barriers exist that prevent young people from engaging with face-to-face mental health services. Young people’s preference for technology-based counselling mediums such as text messaging opens up new pathways for intervention. Objective: A pilot text message-based intervention package was trialed for use by young people to evaluate the potential efficacy of the text package as an intervention for depression and anxiety symptoms.
Method: The text package was piloted using a 10-week longitudinal cohort pilot with 21 young participants (12– 24 years) who demonstrated mild to moderate anxiety and/or depression symptoms.
Results: Participants’ post-package scores were significantly lower than their pre-package scores for both anxiety (Z = −2.83, p = .005, r = −0.65) and depression (Z = −2.49, p = .013, r = −.056). ‘Feeling encouraged and supported’ increased as a result of receiving support from a trained supporter (Z = −2.06, p = .039, r = −0.45), but not from friends/family (Z = −1.72, p = .130, r = −0.37). Anxiety and depression scores did not change as a result of support from either trained supporters or friends/family.
Conclusions: Findings support the potential efficacy of the text package, justify wider trials of the text package, and support the use of text message-based interventions as potentially effective therapies for young people.

Read the full-text article by David Anstiss and Amber Davies here.

New Research Articles in Psychosis Journal

New articles available in Psychosis are online now on Taylor & Francis Online:

A qualitative study of refugees with psychotic symptoms
J.E. Rhodes, N.S. Parrett & O.J. Mason
DOI: 10.1080/17522439.2015.1045547

Does childhood bullying lead to the development of psychotic symptoms? A meta-analysis and review of prospective studies
Twylla Cunningham, Katrina Hoy & Ciaran Shannon
DOI: 10.1080/17522439.2015.1053969

Tales from the madhouse: an insider critique of psychiatric services
William Park
DOI: 10.1080/17522439.2015.1055784

Psychological approaches to understanding and treating auditory hallucinations: From theory to therapy
Lony Schiltz
DOI: 10.1080/17522439.2015.1049199

Together we stand in the bottomless pit – When trauma hits the therapeutic dyad
Y. Spinzy & G. Cohen-Rappaport
DOI: 10.1080/17522439.2015.1052007

Research Evidence on Peer Support Work

In light of the recent media attention on Peer Support Work, the team at Engage Aotearoa thought it timely to share some research on peer support, should members of the community want to get some more information on the topic.

In a review published last year researchers cite a meta-analysis of 11 studies evaluating peer support against case management and clinical professionals in support roles, which concluded “No significant differences in symptoms, hospital admissions, service use, psychosocial functioning or client satisfaction were found. In a second category, six trials compared usual care with services with PSWs in adjunct roles, four with PSWs in mentoring or advocacy roles. There were no significant differences in quality of life, social relations, client satisfaction, hospital admissions, but a small reduction in emergency service use and a larger number of met needs. With these small benefits and no adverse effects found for PSW, Pitt et al. conclude in their review that PSW’s support was noninferior to support by mental health professionals” (emphasis added).

Reference: Mahlke C, Krämer UM, Becker T, Bock T, (2014). Peer support in mental health services. Current Opinion in Psychiatry, 27/4, 276-81. doi: 10.1097/YCO.0000000000000074

In a 2011 review researchers noted that “it seems prudent to mention that a result of no difference demonstrates that people in recovery are able to offer support that maintains admission rates (relapse rates) at a comparable level to professionally trained staff” (emphasis added). They also point to several studies that reported improvements in empowerment, sense of independence,  self-esteem,  hope and community integration along with reduced internalised stigma.  Authors outline several challenges that face peer support workers in the execution of their roles, which require training and organisational support and go on to conclude that peer support workers “have the potential to drive through recovery-focused changes in mental-health services.”

Reference: Repper, J., & Carter, C., (2011). A review of the literature on peer support in mental health services. Journal of Mental Health, 20/4, 392-411.

A 2012 study of peer support worker perspectives of their work, showed that peer support workers are aware of the many challenges they face and highlight the value of their training in enabling them to deal with such challenging issues as self-disclosure and managing boundaries.

Reference: Kemp, V., & Henderson, A.R., (2012). Challenges faced by mental health peer support workers: peer support from the peer supporter’s point of view. Psychiatric rehabilitation journal, 35/4, 337-40.

There is a notable lack of evidence to suggest that peer support work carries risks that are not inherent to any work in the mental-health field and which cannot be overcome without adequate training and supervision. In 2014, Te Pou launched a set of core competencies for peer support workers in New Zealand, to help define the role and help regulate who is able to practice as a peer support worker in mental-health and addictions services. Importantly, in Mary O’Hagan’s 2010 paper, we hear service-users’ own answers to the question “What are the benefits of peer support to you?
  • Knowing you are not alone. Seeing that you are able to live with a mental health diagnosis and still go to school, get degrees, have a job, have a relationship and family. Feeling you are more ‘normal’ or ‘okay’.
  • If it were not for peer support, I wouldn’t be alive.
  • My life was turned around.
  • It was my passage way to getting better, pretty much the only one.
Reference: O’Hagan, M., Cyr, C., McKee, H., & Priest, R. (2010). Making the Case for Peer Support. Mental Health Commission of Canada. Cited in O’Hagan (2011). Peer Support in Mental Health and Addictions: A Background Paper Prepared for Kites Trust.

Find out more about Peer Support in NZ at Kites Trust, the Peer Workers Association or Mind and Body Learning and Development.

Scholarships to attend the 2015 Service User Academia Symposium in Auckland

“Attendance at this symposium is ‘soul food’ for me on an intellectual, physically and emotional level providing me with an opportunity to connect with, and learn from, my peers. I find that being there with ‘my people’ and our allies affirms, encourages and challenges me in my work.” – Lyn Mahboub, 2014 scholarship recipient.

The Service User Academia symposium has been run annually since 2011 for the purposes of advancing the discipline of service user academia – the meaningful involvement of service users in mental health and addiction research and teaching.

The 5th Service User Academia symposium will be held in Auckland, New Zealand on the 30th November/1st December 2015 with the theme being ‘Creating Connections and Building Bridges Together: One Step Closer’.

The co-hosts are pleased to announce the availability of 2 scholarships to support service users to attend.

ELIGIBILITY

Applicants must:

  • be a New Zealand or Australian citizen or a New Zealand or Australian permanent resident
  • identify as a service user/survivor/consumer
  • currently involved (in some capacity) in mental health research and/or teaching
  • have an interest in developing yourself as a service user academic
  • not currently in paid employment of more than one day per week
  • be unable to attend without the support of a scholarship.

VALUE

Each scholarship has a value of $1750 to go towards the travel and accommodation expenses associated with attendance; and a registration (valued at approximately $250).

APPLICATION AND SELECTION PROCESS

Applicants are asked to prepare a 500-750 word essay explicating how you fit the criteria and:

  • what you anticipate getting out of the symposium
  • how you intend contributing to the symposium
  • how you will use the symposium to build service user academia capacity

All essays must be received by Dr Sarah Gordon no later than no later than 30th June 2015.

Recipients of the scholarships shall be selected by a panel comprising of representatives from the University of Otago (NZ), the University of Canberra (Australia), ACT Health (Australia), Central Queensland University(Australia), and Auckland University of Technology (NZ).

For more information or to submit an essay:
Contact Dr Sarah Gordon
Department of Psychological Medicine
University of Otago Wellington
Telephone Number: 0064 7 8235025
Email Address: sarah.e.gordon@otago.ac.nz

Free Access to Journal Articles on Diversity and Cultural Psychiatry

Routledge Journals is offering free access to a collection of over 55 articles on the topic of Diversity & Cultural Psychiatry. You can now view and download each of these articles for free, but the offer is only open for a limited time.

For more information visit the Free Article Collection at Taylor and Francis Online here.

Expires July 31, 2015.

Call for abstracts: 2015 Service User Academia Symposium

“Creating Connections & Building Bridges Together One Step Closer” will take place on the 30th of November and the 1st of December 2015 in Auckland.

Presentations will be about any and all aspects of service users involved in mental health education and research, but this year there will be a particular focus on hearing about co-produced work – where service users and others are working as equal partners in all aspects of a mental health research project or teaching programme.

Abstracts are welcome from service users holding academic, education or professional development positions or aspiring to do so, and those (usually non-service users) who promote, support and advocate for these roles in academia and service settings. To submit an abstract please complete the attached form and send to: Dr Sarah Gordon (sarah.e.gordon@otago.ac.nz) by June 12th, 2015.

For further information please contact:
Dr Sarah Gordon, Service User Academic, Department of Psychological Medicine, University of Otago, Wellington, PO Box 7343, Wellington, New Zealand,
ph. 0064 7 8235025/0064 21 134 6816

Synergia Report -Think Differently, Ministry of Social Development

Think Differently, led by the Ministry of Social Development, is a social change campaign that seeks to encourage and support a fundamental shift in attitudes and behaviours towards disabled people.

It works across community and national level activities to mobilise personal and community action, to change social attitudes and beliefs that lead to disabled people being excluded, and to increase people’s knowledge and understanding of disability and the benefits of inclusive communities. To support this work, Think Differently commissioned a review of the published and grey literature to understand the factors that cause disabled people to be socially excluded. The review is designed to inform the further development of the Think Differently Campaign. This summary focuses on understanding social exclusion and its key drivers. The methods and a more detailed analysis of the key concepts are provided in the main body of this report.