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Table 2 Programs targeted to people with mental illness

From: Review of Australian initiatives to reduce stigma towards people with complex mental illness: what exists and what works?

Program name Organisation Type of mental illness Description Anti-stigma component Lived experience involvement Number of program attendees Where provided Duration and reach Funding Level of evidence
The Station [31] The Station Mental illness (non-specific) Consumer-driven mental health service provides a safe and supportive environment, social connections, and activities for its members (those with a lived experience of mental illness). Aims to increase knowledge and skills for living Contact: People recovering from a mental illness, their carers, and community members meet and conduct activities. Targets public stigma and self-stigma (self-worth) People with LE involved in all aspects of service delivery and are part of the management committee 50 people SA, regional/
Since 1998, N/R State gov, earned income from members, donations 2
TasRec Richmond Fellowship Tasmania Mental illness (non-specific) Recreation program provides a broad range of creative, social and skills building activities to help support mental wellbeing, build confidence and self-esteem, reduce isolation Contact: The recreation program uses community events and art shows to convey experiences of mental illness and their capacity to lead meaningful lives whilst living with illness. Consumers are also provided the opportunity to increase their community engagement through participation in a wide variety of recreation activities, including physical, health, art, and so on. Targets public stigma and self-stigma (self-worth) Recreation program is a process of co-design and collaboration between people with LE and staff within the programs. LE provide suggestions for activities and tasks they would like to participate in Depends, small groups generally TAS, metro, regional/
5–10 years, 140 people Commonwealth gov 1
Residential Accommodation Richmond Fellowship Tasmania Mental illness (non-specific), Bipolar disorder, Personality disorders, Psychosis, Schizophrenia Residential accommodation for consumers living with mental health issues. RFT provide supports to consumers enabling them to reach greater independence, combat stigma, increase their personal advocacy, and live meaningful lives Other: Consumers are encouraged to envision the lives they wish to lead, and are provided examples of others leading meaningful lives, in the presence of mental illness. They are supported to access services, build social networks and lead meaningful lives despite stigma associated with mental ill-health
Protest/Advocacy: Consumers are supported to build resilience and learn to advocate for themselves, as individuals navigating complex systems and situations
People with LE participate in consumer advisory council and co-design and collaboration of service building 25 people TAS, metro, regional/rural, remote More than 10 years, hundreds of participants State gov, earned income from residents 2
Compeer (The Friendship Program) [32] St Vincent de Paul Society Canberra Mental illness (severe) Friendship between a volunteer and person with lived experience who are matched based on age, gender, interests, hobbies and availability Contact: Matches meet weekly for one year in safe environments using natural supports, sharing decision-making around activities, place, and time Volunteer members of the public meet people with LE to develop friendships 20–25 participants in 2020 NSW, ACT, metro, regional/rural Since 2009, 253 participants (ACT branch) State gov (ACT) 2
Hearing Voices group [33] Uniting Prahran Schizophrenia Monthly/fortnightly peer support group provides a welcoming space for voice hearers to share what it’s like to hear voices, learn new coping strategies and explore ways to make sense of voices and to change the relationship with voices Other: The focus of the group is on support. Individuals are provided with the chance to share their experience of hearing voices and ideas of living with the voices Facilitators are a person with LE and a ‘worker’ N/R VIC, metro N/R N/R 1
Information Nights Borderline Personality Disorder Community Borderline Personality Disorder Information Nights are held three times a year to the BPD Community to provide information, a forum for discussion, and a sense of community Contact: Some information nights feature people with LE sharing their stories to reinforce the core techniques that build relationships and recovery
Education: Information nights aim to replace stigma and discrimination with the hope and optimism that recovery is a realistic goal. Speakers present on topics of interest to the BPD Community
Protest/Advocacy: Aim to increase capacity for advocacy through information and relationships with individuals in the community
Facilitators are a person with LE, carer Average of 28 over the last 5 events VIC, metro Since 2014, at least 167 people Volunteer 1
My Recovery Northern Territory Mental Health Coalition Mental illness (non-specific) A peer-led recovery program delivered by peers to other people with experiences of mental health challenges Contact: Peer led
Education: Sessions cover information on mental illness, stigma and discrimination, recovery and discrimination, as well as skills-based capacity building in communication, recovery, and goal setting to promote long-term mental health and wellbeing
Protest/Advocacy: Types of advocacy and local advocacy services are covered in sessions
Facilitators are a person with LE 12 to 15 people NT, metro 6–12 months, 30 people Commonwealth gov 2
Being Herd [34] Batyr Mental illness (non-specific) A workshop where young people are trained to share their stories to help breakdown the stigma associated with mental health Other: 2-day workshop aims to enable people with lived experiences to tell their story in a constructive and empowering way. Highlights steps the person took to get support, what has helped in their recovery and how they can share their story in a safe and effective way for themselves and other young people Facilitators are not reported N/R N/R 700 + young people N/R 1
  1. 1 = No evaluation evidence, 2 = Post survey feedback or qualitative interviews, 3 = One or more uncontrolled trials or repeated cross-sectional surveys, 4 = One or more controlled trials, 5 = One or more randomised controlled trials
  2. LE Lived Experience, N/R Not Reported