Tag Archives: mental health

Learning from crises

Canadian Falls edge

A crisis is a time of elevated risk, a time for working at the edge… but it is also a time for potential new learning. In this video I explore how we may consider the role of positive risk-taking to focus on these possibilities.

 

Use the following link to also access a free training webinar which introduces my simple 5-step process to risk decision-making, which also form the core modules of the Positive Risk-Taking Membership Site:

https://app.webinarjam.net/register/21360/99e6026a97

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Positive Risk-Taking & Dementia-Friendly Communities

JRF screenshotThe increasing incidence of dementia, and profile it is gaining in the public imagination, means that this is a condition that none of us can ignore. What role might a strengths approach have to play in the way we view people living with dementia? It is all too easy to see the negatives and deficits around someone living with dementia, and to remain oblivious to their capabilities and potential, as well as the supportive resources they have around them. Just because you have a particular label doesn’t mean you have lost all capacity to dream and desire a reasonable quality of life for yourself, as determined by you, not imposed on you by others. However, the so-called ‘community’ can become a progressively challenging place as cognitive capabilities decline.

‘Positive risk-taking’ is a concept well established by the Practice Based Evidence consultancy, and it applies equally to the risks a person living with dementia may wish to take, and to all of us who live in, work in and develop communities. The Joseph Rowntree Foundation commissioned a piece of work from a collaboration of Practice Based Evidence and the Mental Health Foundation to investigate how the concept of positive risk-taking may apply to the government initiative of developing dementia-friendly communities. The think piece is explored in the published ‘Viewpoint’ at the following link:

http://www.jrf.org.uk/publications/how-can-positive-risk-taking-help-build-dementia-friendly-communities

“Those with dementia are still people and they still have stories and they still have character and they’re all individuals and they’re all unique. And they just need to be interacted with on a human level.” [Carey Mulligan].

Check out ‘Still Alice’ as a great portrayal of the tragic descent into dementia, and the impact on a wider family as well as the person living with the condition.

 

Podcast Episode 095: A Funky Case Study

TheStrengthsRevolution_albumart_2-2So, what does funky and creative working look like when you have to implement things through a team? It is one thing for a creative individual to plough their own furrow, but as soon as you get two or more people together the opportunity arises for three or more opinions on how to go about things!

In this episode I outline my consultancy work across 2000-2010 with an assertive outreach team that was based in Kettering, Northamptonshire. The vision was largely developed by the team manager, Sue Jugon, with reference to the training I undertook as part of the Sainsbury Centre for Mental Health. It requires careful recruitment, and the type of training and practice development support established at the time as the Practice Based Evidence consultancy.

What it looks like is a commitment to good clear communication, flexible working, and on-going reflection and developmental support. The outcomes were best reflected in the changes seen in what were deemed to be very challenging clients when you devote sufficient respectful time, and deliver client-centred working rather than overblown service rhetoric.

For the full content of this episode click the links to iTunes and Sound Cloud (or go to Stitcher Radio):

https://itunes.apple.com/gb/podcast/strengths-revolution-steve/id867043694

https://itunes.apple.com/gb/podcast/095-a-funky-case-study/id867043694?i=361448998&mt=2

“The strength of the team is each individual member. The strength of each member is the team.” [Phil Jackson]

Assertive Outreach: Examples of Great Teams

IMAG2227_1‘Strengths’ Assertive Outreach: A Review of Seven Practice Development Programmes.

The Practice Based Evidence consultancy made special efforts to get involved in going beyond simple training; focusing on developing teams with a positive impact on practice. It is one thing to claim to support best practice, but another thing entirely to provide evidence for such claims. Assertive Outreach teams in the UK were a particular passion from the original establishment of the consultancy in October 2001. The following article was first published in the Mental Health Review Journal (June 2008) and is reproduced with their kind permission; it is an evaluation of the support provided, from a strengths perspective, for seven such teams.

ABSTRACT

Assertive outreach is based on extensive international research and has been promoted in the UK in 1999 as a key area of the National Service Framework for Mental Health. Its primary aim is to provide a specialist service for people disengaged from traditional approaches of mental health services, but very little attention has been paid to how such services can be developed. Practice Based Evidence, a practice development consultancy, has engaged seven assertive outreach teams to focus on development first, and follow-up evaluation of the impact of reflective practice on team functioning. This has prompted a number of strengths-based recommendations for changing the way we think about developing services before we engage in research and evaluation.

PDF: ‘Strengths’ Assertive Outreach: A Review of Seven Practice Development Programmes

Podcast Episode 084: Where is the evidence?

TheStrengthsRevolution_albumart_2-2Are we just in the business of keeping academics in jobs? Best practice is the ultimate goal for delivery of any self-respecting business, but we must be confident in the evidence that underpins our beliefs in a particular way of working. A strengths approach is no different, and making best use of our personal assets and resources needs more than just a warm feeling that it is the right thing to do.

Within the research community there are conflicting views on the efficacy of working to a strengths approach. The good news is that the critics are asking for more evidence, rather than questioning the efficacy of the approach itself. Translating evidence into practice comes with its own challenges, and my adopting of ‘Practice Based Evidence’ as a business name was largely informed by a need to strike a balance that is respectful to the messages from real time experiences.

In this episode I reflect on the strengths evidence emerging largely from strengths-based case management, with additional studies in children & families, substance misuse and corrections services. Positive outcomes are reported across a wide range of measures, and ultimately the quality of evidence has to be respected above the quantity of studies (though many on the academic side of that debate may have further questions).

For the full content of this episode click the links to iTunes and Sound Cloud (or go to Stitcher Radio):

https://itunes.apple.com/gb/podcast/strengths-revolution-steve/id867043694

https://itunes.apple.com/gb/podcast/084-where-is-the-evidence/id867043694?i=357225169&mt=2

“Know yourself. Don’t accept your dog’s admiration as conclusive evidence that you are wonderful.” [Ann Landers].

Podcast Episode 083: A Staff Strengths Framework

TheStrengthsRevolution_albumart_2-2How do we help to develop and nurture our primary resource, our individual staff? The research tells us we spend too much time trying to fix their weaknesses, and not nearly enough identifying and exploiting their unique gifts and talents.

A motivated workforce is a profitable workforce, so it makes sense from the personal and business development angles to spend more time developing strengths-based resources.

In this episode I examine some of the questions and steps from strengths literature that reinforce the use of the Strengths Assessment tool outlined in the previous episode. Mike Pegg draws together a useful list of reflections on why we achieved in the past, and how we can nurture success in the future. Marcus Buckingham offers a 6-step process for helping individual’s to develop their personal strengths statements, and to exploit strengths whilst managing weaknesses.

To access the full content of this episode click on the links to iTunes & Sound Cloud (or go to Stitcher Radio):

https://itunes.apple.com/gb/podcast/strengths-revolution-steve/id867043694

https://itunes.apple.com/gb/podcast/083-staff-strengths-framework/id867043694?i=356270234&mt=2

“The idea of recognising your strengths and using them in as versatile a way as you can is cool to me.” [Frank Ocean]

Podcast Episode 082: Staff Strengths Assessments

TheStrengthsRevolution_albumart_2-2How do we develop the potential of our individual staff members? We are all individual’s with unique abilities, interests, drives and motivations; but do we really spend time identifying and nurturing these?

The Gallup organisation research suggests that the most successful leaders and businesses do, but the majority are still focused more on fixing flaws and weaknesses. A focus on developing and exploiting strengths makes good business sense, so the question is how to go about doing it.

In this episode I outline the structure and approach of the Practice Based Evidence Staff Strengths Assessment tool. Exploring values, collaborations, creativity, team working and knowledge base. This tool has been accepted as an invaluable addition (or even preferred replacement) for traditional organisational appraisal systems. If it’s staff development you genuinely want to achieve this tool will be a valuable addition to any toolkit.

For the full content of this episode click on the links to iTunes & Sound Cloud (or go to Stitcher Radio):

https://itunes.apple.com/gb/podcast/strengths-revolution-steve/id867043694

https://itunes.apple.com/gb/podcast/082-staff-strengths-assessments/id867043694?i=355718153&mt=2

“Success is achieved by developing our strengths, not by eliminating our weaknesses.” [Marilyn dos Savant]