CRM Development Update: Research Steering Group

18 February 2019
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Neami is updating the model of recovery used to inform our services.

You know a meeting is going to be good when there’s sticky notes and a room full of rich and varied experience! (Bec Egan, Peer Researcher)

The Collaborative Recovery Model

Over the past couple of decades the concept of recovery-oriented practice has moved from a radical idea to a well justified position in mental health care (1). Together with knowledge and evidence emerging from the wellbeing sciences, new ways of thinking about the ‘focus’ and the ‘nature’ of support in mental health care are evolving (2). However, there remains substantial scope for embedding knowledge from these fields into mental health service practice.

The services Neami provide to consumers are underpinned by a practice framework – The Collaborative Recovery Model (CRM). The CRM is a person-centred and strengths-based coaching model, designed by university researchers to translate the principles and standards of recovery-oriented care into service practice (3). The model provides a strong theoretical foundation and set of processes to guide practitioner implementation of coaching during the provision of mental health support.

Neami has been using the CRM to guide how we support people who access our services for nearly 10 years. To assist ongoing development of the model we have initiated a CRM Research Steering Group. The aim of this group is to establish and implement a research agenda that will inform the development of the model, build on the evidence base, and support us in communicating what it is and how it works.

Co-designing a research agenda for CRM

Informed by principles of co-design steering group members have been selected to bring together a wealth of diversity in terms of knowledge and experience. Members include consumers, peer researchers and peer trainer, direct and non-direct service delivery staff and Neami researchers. Members will contribute their ideas through a series of workshops and bring their unique perspectives and insights to both the development and implementation of the research agenda. Each of the members will undertake pre-workshop preparation activities, individual investigative and reflective work, group based activities and discussion and post meeting feedback and summaries.

“As a group we have a HUGE interest in developing the CRM model further, increasing its scope and applicability (suggesting that anecdotally it has been noticed that there is HUGE potential, but also lots of ways in which in falls short), including finding ways to make it more successful across a broader range of service types, sectors, and service users”.
Mog Van Golstein Brouwers, Neami Staff Member

First Workshop

The group held their first meeting in Head Office last week and identified three main areas from which to base the agenda:

  • Development: Exploring the potential, possibilities and boundaries of coaching informed by CRM; and using new knowledge & evidence to update and refresh the models use into the future.
  • Evidence Base: Developing an evidence-base for the type of outcomes that people experience as a result of coaching informed by CRM & the type of skills necessary for coaching from this model.
  • Communication: Being able to describe the model (what it is and how it works in different contexts).

Rebecca Egan, a peer research member from the group, shared her experience of the process:

Entering discussion on our own experiences with the Collaborative Recovery Model – as consumers, trainers, direct service providers and researchers alike – we quickly found the common ground – an appreciation of what coaching can provide, and a desire to continue developing it for a wide range of situations and evaluating its effectiveness.

I think maybe the hardest part of the whole meeting was to narrow the questions we each were most curious to explore down to only three – surely a true sign of eager minds. Common themes came up, such as: “Where is coaching appropriate? And in areas where it is seen as less effective, can it be successfully adapted to help those who previously hadn’t? How do consumers find coaching? What time frame is needed for coaching to be effective and can we modify it effectively in situations where time is limited? Where does coaching fit as a unique intervention for consumers receiving it adjunct to medication and clinical treatments? And perhaps most at the core – how do we KNOW it’s effective and WHY choose coaching?

Evaluation of how the CRM is currently working at Neami and continuing to develop and adapt coaching as a practice will hopefully help to further facilitate recovery as a person centred, individualised process even within the continued changing landscape of mental health services.

It’s a long process, but with curious minds and a surplus of sticky notes, I’m hopeful we can do some good work!

More information

For more information about the CRM Development Project, or about the Research Steering Group, contact Keren Wolstencroft, Research Coordinator keren.wolstencroft@neaminational.org.au

  1. Hummelvoll JK, Karlsson B, Borg M. Recovery and person-centredness in mental health services: roots of the concepts and implications for practice. International Practice Development Journal. 2015;5(7):1-9.
  2. Wolstencroft KE, Deane FP, Jones CL, Zimmermann A, Cox M. Consumer and staff perspectives of the implementation frequency and value of recovery and wellbeing oriented practices. International Journal of Mental Health Systems. 2018;12(1).
  3. Oades LG, Deane FP, Crowe TP. Collaborative Recovery Model: From Mental Health Recovery to Wellbeing. In: Slade M, Oades L, Jarden A, editors. Wellbeing, Recovery and Mental Health. Cambridge: UK: Cambridge University Press; 2017. p. 99.