Journal article

The Choice Project: Peer Workers Promoting Shared Decision Making at a Youth Mental Health Service

Magenta Bender Simmons, Samantha Batchelor, Tara Dimopoulos-Bick, Deb Howe



OBJECTIVE: In youth mental health services, consumer participation is essential, but few implementation strategies exist to engage young consumers. This project evaluated an intervention implemented in an Australian youth mental health service that utilized peer workers to promote shared decision making via an online tool. METHODS: All new clients ages 16-25 were invited to participate in this nonrandomized comparative study, which used a historical comparison group (N=80). Intervention participants (N=149) engaged with a peer worker and used the online tool before and during their intake assessment. Pre- and postintake data were collected for both groups; measures included decisional confli..

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Funding Acknowledgements

This study was funded by a Service Innovation Project from the Department of Health and Aging through headspace, the National Youth Mental Health Foundation. The authors acknowledge the following peer workers who codesigned and rolled out this combined intervention: Georgia Coomber, Darcy Cosgrove, Andrew Lawler, Joel Makings, Sarana Schultz, Max Simensen, Eleanor Skinner, and Caitlin Turner. They also acknowledge the staff of headspace Gosford and of Children and Young People's Mental Health, particularly clinicians, mentors, and others closely involved in the project. They thank Daveena Mawren, B. Psych., M.H. Stats., for statistical advice and Nicholas Fava, B.App.Sci., G.Dip.Psych., for comments on a draft of this article.