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Dr Bronwyn Dunnachie, senior advisor - Werry Workforce Whāraurau, and Sue Dashfield, director - Werry Workforce Whāraurau, attended the International Initiative for Mental Health Leadership (IIMHL) Child and Youth match in New Haven, Connecticut, USA as part of the 2019 IIMHL Leadership Exchange. Here they reflect and share their experiences from the match.
The match, hosted by Dr Nathalie Szilagyi and colleagues at Yale University’s Yale Child Study Center, gave an introduction to a broad range of clinical and community focused child, youth and family mental health and well-being programmes, with many examples of service/programmes delivery that met the interests of the participants.
This is an ongoing match with a group that has been collaborating for 10 years and has regular virtual meetings between matches where leaders share new research or innovation. Bronwyn organises and coordinates these meetings via Werry Workforce Whāraurau and has done so for eight years.
This match was designed to support the sharing of international innovations in service planning, development and delivery in child and youth mental health, which will potentially lead to the implementation of new and innovative child, youth and family-focused service developments. The breadth of development includes organization, service, infrastructure and practice; in participant countries.
The match in New Haven attracted a mixture of former participants as well as people new to IIMHL meetings. The average group size is 10, which was reflected in the New Haven meeting. Participants come with a variety of interest areas across primary and secondary levels of service delivery and across sectors. The range of perspectives ensures rich discussion and learning.
The leaders who participated in the Yale Child Study Center Child and Youth match came from five countries (USA, Canada, Ireland, Australia and New Zealand) and brought perspectives from Child and Adolescent Psychiatry, Workforce Development, Mental Health Commissioning, Family and Carer involvement, Mental Health Nursing, Funding and Development. Participants had interest in, and/or responsibility for delivery across services and sectors (Primary and Secondary level services, and other agencies: justice, education and welfare). Developments in primary level service delivery and integration across services and sectors were areas of interest shared by everyone, with access being a key issue.
First, the participation from a family/carer involvement agency (Tandem in Victoria, Australia) was a new focus for this match and provided an excellent and levelling opportunity to consider service delivery from the perspectives of families, encouraging co-design/co-production activity which includes families.
Second, whilst the perspectives of young people weren’t directly present, the commitment of all participants to co-design/co-produce activity inclusive of a child and youth voice ensured a focus on an inclusive process of multi-perspective planning and delivery.
Third, another fresh focus in this match was the discussion and shared innovations on increasing service delivery to include a ‘well-being’ focus and translating it to access to programmes from a preventative perspective.
In addition to the focus on ‘well-being’ described above, a range of projects, programmes and community initiatives were presented by Dr Nathalie Szilagyi and her colleagues at the Yale Child Study Center. All of the presentations led to significant discussion with a focus on how the ideas presented could translate into service developments in the participants’ own countries. Here are four examples of the many initiatives that inspired discussion:
Photo: Attendees at the Child and Youth match held at Yale University’s Yale Child Study Center as part of the 2019 IIMHL Leadership Exchange.