Building collaborative cultures of care

within NSW mental health services

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Balancing risk

One of the greatest challenges for staff is the balancing of risk by ensuring safe environments for staff, people of lived experience of mental health issues, their carers and families.12

Trauma-informed recovery-oriented approaches support clinicians and service providers to collaborate with people with lived experience of mental health issues and caring, families and kinship groups to:

  • maximise choice
  • communicate about medico-legal requirements and safety
  • support positive risk-taking
  • reduce traumatisation and re-traumatisation by inhibiting physiological and physical harm
  • enable the dignity of risk while still meeting their duty of care.3

Risk management strategies can be implemented when people with lived experience of mental health issues collaborate and actively engage in early communication and care planning. Collaborative care planning and shared decision-making can identify options for self-management and support across a continuum of health, wellbeing and mental distress including the use of mental health advanced directives, and safety and wellness plans.14

The management of risk needs to be balanced with respect to people’s rights. People with lived experience of mental health issues (including people with intellectual disability and cognitive impairments and people from culturally and linguistically diverse communities), families, carers, support persons, staff and service providers should be aware of each other’s rights and responsibilities and supported to exercise them.