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Hear me, support me - it's my medication

Hear me, support me – it’s my medication booklet

To increase understanding of the co-design process at Neami, we developed and engaging look at the consumer participation process.

The Hear me, support me – It’s my medication booklet illustrates a successful co-design project in an engaging and straightforward format demonstrating the process and value of co-design.

Project stakeholders

  • Consumers of Neami services
  • Neami service delivery staff
  • People interested in understanding co-design

Objectives

  • Celebrate how a simple co-design project can have tangible and meaningful outcomes for consumers, the organisation and the sector more broadly
  • Inspire Neami staff to recognise consumer participation opportunities and to think creatively about how to record them.

Getting the representations right was a challenge as we didn’t want to stereotype or misrepresent any of the people involved.

Kathy McCormick, Consumer Participation Development Coordinator

Background

Changes to funding requirements in NSW mental health sector meant Neami was asked to take a more active role in the management of consumer medication in some of its services. This change represented a departure from existing practice and was perceived by some staff as a challenge to the organisation’s values.

The Co-design of Medication Guidelines project was initiated to understand the role of Neami staff in better supporting consumers with their medication needs. Neami NSW consumers and staff were involved in a series of workshops to develop guidelines that responded to the new service conditions while maintaining a recovery-focused approach.

The Co-design of Medication Guidelines project was presented at the 2018 TheMHS conference, highlighting the outcomes of the project that would be valuable to other practitioners in the sector. 

Based on the outcomes from the Co-design of Medication Guidelines project, the Hear me, support me – It’s my medication booklet and provides an engaging look at this consumer participation process in a simple way for a broad audience.

It was equally important for the imagery to be relatable and easily read by people who are not familiar with the detail of the project

Kathy McCormick, Consumer Participation Development Coordinator

Activities and deliverables

The Hear me, support me – it's my medication booklet responds to staff and consumer feedback that expressed practical examples of co-design were needed to complement theoretical explanations of the practice.

An analysis of recorded consumer and staff reflections from the initial Co-design of Medication Guidelines project lead to a decision to experiment with a new way of sharing the co-design process based on experience.

A storyboard served as an exciting departure from the written text and information graphics that had previously been used to document participation processes. An illustrator selected for their empathetic style was engaged binging to life the notes from consumer workshops through a storyboard developed over multiple iterations.

Simplifying the experience, and fast-tracking the process meant that consumers from the first workshops weren’t involved, resulting in a lost opportunity for shared ownership of the product. This insight will inform future collaborative projects, including a greater emphasis on consumer involvement in documenting consumer participation activities.

The final booklet was developed based on the storyboard. The booklet is now available for Neami consumers at the time of joining the service as part of an info pack about consumer participation.

The booklet is also used by the Neami Learning and Development team use the booklet to promote conversations with staff about medication.

More information

For a copy of the booklet or to discuss the project, please contact the Social Innovation and Design team.