Early Intervention in the Real World - Family peer support work in an early intervention youth mental health service
Orygen Youth Health, Parkville, Victoria,
Corresponding author: Ms Gina Woodhead, Orygen Youth Health, Locked Bag 10 (35 Poplar Road), Parkville, Vic.
3052, Australia. Email: [email protected]
This paper describes the evolution of a family peer support programme in an early intervention service in Melbourne, Australia. In response to
policy directions from Federal and State governments calling for carer participation in public mental health services, and feedback from the families of young people at Orygen Youth Health, the ‘Families Helping Families’ project was developed. The positive acceptance by families of this innovative programme also warrants further exploration. The programme has overcome many organizational hurdles associated with specifically
trained and employed family carers working alongside professional mental health clinicians. This article describes the change processes involved in implementing this programme and documents preliminary expressions of the benefits of family peer support. The contribution of lived experience in treatment and consumer care plans needs.