Engage Aotearoa

Category Archives: Research

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.

 

 

New Zealand Schizophrenia Research Group: Research Awards Scheme

The New Zealand Schizophrenia Research Group has for many years been able offer research awards in an annual round.

In recent years this has been made possible by the Taranaki Schizophrenia Research Trust.
In 2014 there was no such round. However NZSRG is continuing with its research awards scheme, with another round early in 2015.
Two documents, one describing the nature of the research awards which NZSRG can offer, the other the application form  for these awards, are accessible on the NZSRG website (www.nzsrg.org.nz). The deadline is 23th March. Application forms should be sent to Deb Leslie at nzsrgenquiries@gmail.com

They hope to receive your applications soon. Please circulate this messages to others you think might be interested.

Te Pou: Peer support competencies ‘sandstone to sharpen practice on’

The following is a press release from Te Pou, from their website:

The resource Competencies for the mental health and addiction service user, consumer and peer workforce were launched on November 11 at Te Pou in Auckland.

Dr John Crawshaw, director of mental health, gave an opening address to the mental health and addiction sector people from across the North Island. He acknowledged the pivotal role the service user, consumer and peer workforce has in informing service development and working alongside clinical services, supporting people to self manage and drive their own recovery.

Dr Crawshaw was followed by two peer support workers who spoke about their experience and what peer work meant for them. Elton Hakopa, addiction peer support worker from the drug court, gave a stirring and entertaining outline of his experiences. Elton gave the quote of the day, or even the year when he said “these competencies are the sandstone I will sharpen my practice on”.

Ahmad Al-Ali, mental health peer worker from Mind and Body, also entertained the crowd with his self-deprecating wit and story of courage. Both exemplified the state of gratitude they were in to be able to use their powerful experiences to support other people’s self-determination and wellbeing.

Robyn Shearer, Te Pou chief executive, talked about the power of people from across mental health and addiction co-designing and co-developing the competencies.

Two documents created to support the competency framework were also launched: The Service user, consumer and peer workforce guide for managers and employers and the Service user, consumer and peer workforce guide for planners and funders. These are available to download alongside the competencies. These documents provide information and sound direction for people managing and employing peer workforce members and for planners and funders investing in this exciting growth area in the mental health and addiction workforce.

To contact Te Pou or for further information:

http://www.tepou.co.nz/

Email: info@tepou.co.nz

Te Pou phone numbers online here.

Psychosis: latest articles on Taylor & Francis Online

The following are some highlights from the latest Taylor and Francis “Psychosis” online releases.

Overcoming distressing voices
Katherine Berry

Understanding the development of narrative insight in early psychosis: A qualitative approach
Eric Macnaughton, Sam Sheps, Jim Frankish & Dave Irwin

Is the content of persecutory delusions relevant to self-esteem?
Johanna Sundag, Tania M. Lincoln, Maike M. Hartmann & Steffen Moritz

Childhood sexual abuse moderates the relationship of self-reflectivity with increased emotional distress in schizophrenia
Bethany L. Leonhardt, Jay A. Hamm, Elizabeth A. Belanger & Paul H. Lysaker

Opinion piece: “Hearing the voices of young people!” Do we require more personal accounts from young people who have psychotic-like experiences?
Patrick Welsh & Roz Oates

For the Psychosis list of issues click here.