Translating Research into Service Delivery: A Regional Rural Case Study

The 2018 Australian Rural & Remote Mental Health Symposium will this year be held over 15-17 October at the Hotel Grand Chancellor, Hobart, Tasmania.

Joining us at the conference is Mrs Jackie Hallan, Senior Program Manager at Reachout Australia who will present on ‘Translating Research into Service Delivery: A Regional Rural Case Study’.

Mrs Jackie Hallan

Abstract

Online access to mental health services has the potential to make a significant impact in reducing the burden of mental disorders of young Australians living in regional, rural and remote (RRR) areas. These young people face an elevated risk of experiencing mental health difficulties due to a combination of unique stressors and socio-cultural barriers, and reduced access to primary and specialised mental health care.

In 2017 ReachOut Australia undertook a comprehensive mixed-methods research program with young people and service providers living in RRR areas across Australia to understand their mental health and wellbeing needs. A comprehensive, integrated approach was adopted to translate key insights into relevant, accessible and impactful online service delivery.

Planning for effective translation commenced in the orientation phase, with the researchers consulting practitioners regarding the research questions. After completing research and analysis, researchers facilitated an immersive workshop to share key findings. The team then worked together to prioritise recommendations and set translation goals. During the implementation phase, researchers were invited to review how effectively the insights were translated into the service.

Research insights have directly informed a comprehensive approach to service design; including strategic policy briefings, a new marketing campaign, a toolkit to support Schools and new content and imagery for ReachOut.com. This includes a new suite of content focusing on financial stress and employment concerns – the most prevalent issues identified.

As this is an ongoing project, the presentation will share the outputs and outcomes of the project available in October and reflect on the broader lessons learned from the integrated knowledge translation approach.

Key Learnings:
1. Employment and financial stress were found to be the most prevalent issues affecting RRR young people’s mental health and wellbeing.
2. User feedback demonstrated that sharing real stories of young people’s experience provided a sense of reassurance, connection and hope; as well as practical strategies to try.
3. Adopting an integrated approach to knowledge translation improved both the internal process, translation of research recommendations into service delivery and the quality of outputs for users. N.B. As this is an ongoing project there may be more results available to share at the conference.

Biography

Jackie McIver is a Senior Program Manager at ReachOut Australia, Australia’s leading youth mental health service. Jackie leads a team that is responsible for activating young people towards positive mental health outcomes by translating research, evidence and young people’s needs and preferences into innovative program delivery. Jackie has 12 years’ experience in program management, health promotion and social marketing in mental health and cancer prevention. Jackie adopts an evidence-based approach and places a high value on collaboration and creativity.

For more information on the upcoming 2018 Australian Rural & Remote Mental Health Symposium please visit anzmh.asn.au/rrmh