Mental Health research at Neami is broadly defined to include the process involved in finding, selecting, using and producing evidence to support decision making related to our service provision
What is evaluation?
Evaluations are aimed at program improvement by identifying where changes could be made. This is achieved by asking questions like
- Does it work?
- How well does it work?
- What could be done to make it work better?
Why do we carry out research and evaluation?
We carry out research and evaluation projects to improve our understanding of mental illness and recovery so we can provide better support to individuals and their carers. Our goal is to help you to achieve the best possible outcomes based on your own values, strengths and goals in life.
How can people be involved?
People who use our services play a key role in our research and evaluation work. They have input at every stage of the process. Here are some examples:
- Helping to design projects
We consult with people who use our services on the design and methods used in projects. Consumer representatives sit on the Research and Evaluation Committee, which also has staff, academics and research professionals. This group guides this area of work at a high level.
- Participating in projects
People who use our services are often directly involved in ways that include telephone surveys, face-to-face interviews or questionnaires.
- Carrying out research
We sometimes hire people with a personal experience of recovery to conduct research together with our staff.
How do we do research?
We carry out research and evaluation in an ethical and sensitive way that respects participants and directly links to consumer needs and ways to improve our services. We have a research and evaluation team that leads this area of work. We also receive proposals from other researchers and these go through the same process.
We require all projects to align with our vision, mission, strategic directions, research principles and our research focus areas. There are also assessment criteria they need to meet. The diagram below shows the process.
Supporting young people to stable housing
The Macarthur Youth Mental Health and Housing Project (MYP) was designed to support young people aged 16-18 years in South Western Sydney who are experiencing or at risk of homelessness and who have mental health issues. Neami partnered with Social Policy Research Centre (SPRC) from UNSW Australia to conduct an evaluation of the project.
Supported Decision Making Project
A recent Monash University and University of Melbourne Australian Research Council joint interdisciplinary project investigated and supported the rights, agency and self-determination of people in the mental health system. Neami is a partner in the project.
Exploring the use of the CRM across Neami
We launched the results of a study into how well our services implement our service delivery framework, the Collaborative Recovery Model.
Research and Evaluation Committee
Neami’s Research and Evaluation Committee, comprised of Neami staff, consumers and external academics oversee and support the organisations research and evaluation activities.
The Committee provides a vital function in ensuring quality and consistency is reflected in Neami's research and evaluation activities.
The Committee ensures safe, ethical and beneficial projects are undertaken in a manner which is respectful and considerate of participants, including consumers.
Our research committee consists of academic, staff and consumer members and is chair by CEO Arthur Papakotsias
If you are interested in conducting a research or evaluation project a Neami Research Approval Checklist (attached at bottom) must be submitted for the Research and Evaluation Committee to review. The Committee meets on a quarterly basis.
What do people say?
“I provide advice and suggestions to the committee on improvements... I suggest ways to promote consumer voices, opinions, perspectives and lived experiences. I have had the opportunity to make real life changes to peoples’ lives.
‘In a room full of people from the academic world, practitioners and Neami staff I have grown more confident to represent consumers. I have walked away from the meetings more passionate, committed and informed, with a deeper understanding of the diversity of consumers and the mental health system.
‘It only took about 10 - 15 minutes and was actually a great opportunity… to pass on my opinion and I felt glad that Neami was so committed to its consumers’ point of view.’
‘On the whole, it took very little effort on my part to be involved in the research, but I got a sense that Neami was [committed] to conducting the research… I’m really glad to have been involved - it gives me confidence that my voice will always be heard.”
Where can I get more information?
For information about our research or to enquire about doing research with us contact our research coordinator
Pictured: Members of the Neami research committee