Joseph Brant Hospital Foundation Donor Report 2017 Donor Report 2017 - Page 10

Changing Culture and Removing Stigma in Mental Health Care recommendations. I feel a definite shift in the understanding and acceptance of the value of peer support in the recovery model and how this carries forward into practice.” Thanks to the generous support of the CUMIS Group in March 2016, Joseph Brant Hospital established a two-year pilot project Peer Support Navigator program to meet the needs identified by the Mental Health Program Consumer Advisory Committee. The program provides patients with access to one-on-one support from a trained peer-support specialist, who has experience in mental health and/or addiction services. Reports by both national and provincial health associations have identified peer support as a priority because it provides important benefits in both patient recovery and harm reduction for those suffering with mental illness and addictions. For CUMIS, moving mental health care forward was a priority. “As a co-operative, an employer and a group benefits provider, we see a strong need for improved support services for those with mental health challenges in our community and communities across 10 Joseph Brant Hospital Foundation The feedback received from the patients who are benefitting from the support of the peer navigators speaks volumes. “It provides our staff with an opportunity to respect the lived experience.” Canada,” said Bob Hague, President of Credit Union Distribution at CUMIS. In the first 11 months of the program, there were 298 one-on-one peer support interactions, and 68 group programs with over 242 individuals participating. These numbers will continue to grow with consistent staffing and the expansion of the program into the new Psychiatric Emergency Service area in the new Emergency Department later this fall. The results so far have been overwhelmingly positive for patients and their families. “I am stronger and healthier than ever before because of the different activities provided as well as the extra support from the peer supporters who are good at listening.” • “It is nice to have someone other than busy nurses, and not feel burdened by time when we really want some help.” • “She is a wonderful asset to this unit.” • “A job that is not easy, but she makes it look easy.” PEER SUPPORT NAVIGATORS MARIA DEL FINE AND KHALID ALWAN ARE MAKING A DIFFERENCE FOR PATIENTS, THEIR FAMILIES AND STAFF IN THE MENTAL HEALTH UNIT. “It is undeniable that this innovative project is assisting patients to navigate what recovery means to them,” said one of the peer navigators. “By modelling what recovery can look like, the incorporation of peer navigators can help instil hope in the future for patients both entering and leaving care.” Mental Health & Rehabilitation. “It is making a difference not only for our patients, but also changing our culture and reducing stigma. It is having far- reaching effects.” In addition to the impact on patients, changes to the staff culture at JBH have been identified and appreciated. “I’ve noticed significant changes, especially in the workplace culture. The ease with which we are able to discuss more patient-centred recovery is amazing,” one said. “Staff are welcoming, accepting and actively seek out my opinion, feedback and “We’ve truly demonstrated the impact that these positions can have, and are having,” said Cheryl Gustafson, Director, • For the peer navigators, the culture change has been tremendous. “It is making a difference not only for our patients but also changing our culture and reducing stigma. It is having far- reaching effects.” The results of the pilot program speak volumes and will continue to be a focus of the Mental Health support plan at JBH. “It has become an integral part of our day-to-day operations,” said Tony Wright, Manager, Inpatient and Community Mental Health. “It provides our staff with an opportunity to respect the lived experience.” Donor Report 2016-2017 11