What's new at Mind

Mind delivers services informed by evidence and consistent with a social model of health.

Reports and presentations

Co-producing the journey to recovery: The Mind Recovery College

The Mind Recovery College™ provides an alternative approach to mental health service delivery based on a co-production and education-based approach. Mind commissioned the Centre for Mental Health at the Melbourne School of Population and Global Health, University of Melbourne to conduct a process and preliminary outcomes evaluation. The evaluation was co-designed with Recovery College students and staff. This paper documents the progress that the Mind Recovery College™ has made in meeting its objectives and also introduces some preliminary findings from the evaluation about the student and staff experience of the College. 

View the resource

Out Doors optimal health program: promoting wellbeing through adventures in nature

Out Doors is a community managed mental health organisation that promotes mental health and wellbeing through adventure activities in the natural environment. In early 2016 Out Doors’ collaborated with Frameworks for Health (FFH), St. Vincent’s Hospital, Melbourne to develop the Out Doors’ Optimal Health Program (OOHP). This collaboration and pilot program seeks to link positive experiences in nature with the Optimal Health Program (OHP), a self-management wellbeing program which aims to promote hope, growth, meaningful connections and partnerships. This paper focuses on the preliminary findings relating to the short term outcomes participants’ experienced.  

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Consumer Transactions: Equitable Support Models for Individuals with Decision-making Impairments

The purpose of this pilot study was to explore the challenges that individuals with mental and intellectual impairments  encounter when they engage in consumer transactions. The research team set out to gauge the viability of Supported Decision Making models for consumers. A specific focus was on transactions occurring in the finance, telecommunications, insurance, and utilities industries. The primary objective of the study was to establish which support models for individuals with mental and intellectual impairments may assist them to engage in consumer transactions.

View the full report

The economic value of informal mental health caring in Australia

Informal carers play a significant role in providing ongoing support and assistance to people with mental illness.

The aims of this project were to: provide a profile of mental health carers and the types of care provided; estimate the replacement cost of informal mental health care; estimate bed-based service replacement costs; review current government spending on mental health carers and unmet support needs.

View the full report

View the summary report

Community mental health care after self-harm: A retrospective cohort study 

Presentation to hospital after self-harm is an opportunity to treat underlying mental health problems. This study aimed to describe the pattern of mental health contacts following hospital admission focusing on those with and without recent contact with community mental health services (connected and unconnected patients).

View the Community mental health care after self-harm study.  

Bipolar Caregivers project 

This study aimed to use qualitative methods to better understand the experience and needs of people who provide informal support to a friend, partner, or parent diagnosed with both bipolar and substance disorder (carers). The research project was carried out as part of a Masters Degree and conducted by Zoe Gruneska under the supervision of Dr Lesly Berk and Associate Professor Tess Knight, at Deakin University. Six in-depth interviews were conducted with carer participants across rural and metropolitan Australia and two participants submitted a written account of their experiences. The eight transcripts were analysed using the systematic method described by Thomas (2006).

View the Bipolar Caregivers project research findings.  

View the Bipolar Caregivers final research report.   

Effective, evidence-based psychosocial interventions suitable for early intervention in the National Disability Insurance Scheme (NDIS): promoting psychosocial functioning and recovery

This report co-authored by Mind Director of Research Dr Lisa Brophy, details the evidence regarding the early interventions that can assist people with psychosocial disability make significant gains in their capacity to engage in social and economic participation. The report provides a synthesis of evidence on the application of specific supports as early intervention for people experiencing psychosocial disability. The findings it presents are a resource for people in this situation, their families and carers and for National Disability Insurance Agency (NDIA) staff involved in local area coordination and the provision of support services. 

Download full report

Download condensed version 

Supported-decision-making (SDM) project website launched

This interdisciplinary project investigated and supported the rights, agency and self-determination of people in the mental health system. Led by Associate Professor Renata Kokanovic, the project was a collaboration with Monash University researchers, the Victorian Department of Health and five major NGOs supporting mental health service and delivery in Victoria: Neami Limited, Tandem, Victorian Mental Illness Awareness Council and Mental Illness Fellowship Victoria.

A key output of this project was the production of two internet resources based on research participants’ stories of living with severe mental health challenges and carers’ experiences. Launched in June 2016, the resources can be found on the Healthtalk Australia website.

Mental health and supported decision making: Lived experience perspectives

Mental health and supported decision making: Carers’ experiences

For more information about this project, visit the SDM project website.

Note: The ethical aspects of this research project have been approved by the Human Research Ethics Committee of Monash University. It has also been approved by Mind’s Research and Evaluation Committee.


Safety and autonomy in the Australian mental health services sector

Jointly funded by Mind Australia, the Disability Research Initiative and the Melbourne Social Equity Institute, this report by Yusur Al-Azzawi provides recommendations for mental health service reform that aspires to achieve a culture of safety, autonomy and recovery.

Click here to download the report.


Implications for family carers when people with psychosocial disability have individualised funding packages – literature review

This literature review examined the impact of individualised funding on family carers of people with psychosocial disability. It was conducted in the context of the National Disability Insurance Scheme (NDIS) as individualised funding is becoming the dominant funding mechanism in disability and aged services.

Commissioned by Mind Australia, the review was undertaken by the Centre for Mental Health, Melbourne School of Population and Global Health, Faculty of Medicine, Dentistry and Health Sciences, University of Melbourne. Key contributors were:  

  • Carmel Laragy PhD - Research Fellow, The Centre for Mental Health, Melbourne School of Population and Global Health, Faculty of Medicine, Dentistry and Health Sciences, University of Melbourne
  • Frances Sanders - General Manager Organisational Initiatives, Mind Australia
  • Lisa Brophy PhD - Senior Research Fellow, The Centre for Mental Health, Melbourne School of Population and Global Health, Faculty of Medicine, Dentistry and Health Sciences, University of Melbourne and Director of Research, Mind Australia.

Click here to download the literature review.


Mind at the Mental Health Service (MHS) Conference 2015

In 2015, Judith Drake a lived experience member of the research and evaluation committee delivered an award winning presentation at the MHS Conference. 

Click here to view the presentation.

How well is Mind doing in supporting the recovery of Peer Recovery Communities residents?
Evaluation summary

Last year, Mind changed the way its adult residential rehabilitation services worked. To reflect the change, these services were renamed Peer Recovery Communities. As the name suggests, Mind wanted to achieve a more positive culture of mutual support, community and focus on recovery in these services. Research was conducted to evaluate how well the changes were implemented and whether the changes made are achieving their desired outcomes.

Click here to read the evaluation summary. 


NDIS conference research presentation: 

People Making Choices: The Support Needs of People with a Psychosocial Disability

Dr Lisa Brophy, Mind’s Director of Research and Senior Research Fellow at the Centre for Mental Health, Melbourne School of Population and Global Health, The University of Melbourne presented at the Integrating Mental Health into the NDIS conference in Sydney. Dr Brophy presented her research, commissioned by Mind Australia, People making choices: The support needs and preferences of people with psychosocial disability.

The research was undertaken in Victoria’s Barwon region as part of the National Disability Insurance Scheme pilot project and  was commissioned by Mind Australia. It was conducted with the Centre for Mental Health, the Melbourne School of Population and Global Health, the University of Melbourne and the School of Health and Social Development, Deakin University.

The paper identified that improved health, economic security, more social connections, safe housing and closer ties with families and intimate relationships are the priorities for people living with a psychosocial disability.

Click here to download the summary report People Making Choices 

Click here to download the full research report People Making Choices

Click here to download Dr Brophy's presentation based on People Making Choices  


The Trauma and Homelessness Initiative (THI)

The Trauma and Homelessness Initative (THI) is a partnership between the Australian Centre for Posttraumatic Mental Health and four homelessness service providers: Mind Australia, Sacred Heart Mission (SHM), Inner South Community Health (ISCH), and VincentCare Victoria.  The importance of understanding the impact of trauma is increasingly recognised amongst services working with people who experience homelessness. The initiative involved a series of four studies designed to investigate the nature of the relationship between trauma and homelessness, with each study building on the findings of the last.

Several key documents have been produced and are now available for download:

A literature review was also undertaken and is available here:  The Nature of the Relationship between Traumatic Events in People’s Lives and Homelessness. 

Community Treatment Orders in the context of Recovery

Jennifer Buchanan undertook a research project for her Masters in Social Work at Mind Australia and investigated the issue of “Community Treatment Orders in the context of recovery”. Jennifer successfully completed her project (and her degree) and recently co-presented the project with her supervisor, Lisa Brophy, at the Mental Health Services Conference (TheMHS 2013). Jennifer was also supervised by A/Prof Lynette Joubert. Click here for a copy of her presentation. 

The Prevention and Recovery Care Exit Surveys

These two reports outline the process and outcomes of exit surveys conducted at Mind Australia Prevention and Recovery Care (PARC) services. The first report, 2012, was written by Dr Lisa Brophy and Michael Loh, Services Development Manager at Mind. The second, 2013, was written by Melanie Wray, Social Work Student, University of Melbourne, Dr Lisa Brophy and Michael Loh, Manager Learning and Development at Mind.

Click here to download a copy of the 2012 report.

Click here to download a copy of the 2013 report. 

Using outcome measures in MInd Australia: a discussion paper

Mind Australia has a commitment to examining the quality and effectiveness of its services, and outcome measurement provides an important contribution to this commitment. Dr Lisa Brophy, Mind’s Director of Research and Senior Research Fellow at the Centre for Mental Health, Melbourne School of Population and Global Health, The University of Melbourne, has led the preparation of a discussion paper on outcome measurement available at the link below.

The purpose of the discussion paper is to explore key issues in outcome measurement for the community based mental health support sector generally and for Mind specifically.  The discussion paper seeks to shape the future directions for outcome measurement in the context of Mind’s ongoing focus on supporting recovery and wellbeing. The Mind Executive has endorsed a number of specific recommendations arising from the paper. The next steps will include establishing an advisory group (chaired by the Director of Research) to guide the development of Mind’s policy on outcome measurement. This advisory group will lead the development of an implementation plan to embed outcome measurement throughout the organisation.

Click here to download a copy of the report.

Are we recovery oriented? an Australian encounter of learning from people with lived experiences

This book chapter in Community Research for participation: from theory to method edited by Lisa Goodson and Jenny Phillimore, describes the experience of community researchers as active participants in the evaluation of an innovative model of service delivery, the Adult Mental Health Initiatives: a collaboration between St Vincent's Mental Health and Mind Australia.  Written by Liam Buckley, Nadine Cocks, Matthew Scott, Michael Stylianou, Lisa Brophy, Jayne Lewis, Kieran Halloran and Melissa Petrakis, and published by Policy Press. Click on the image of the cover to download information about ordering the book.

Cover of book Community Research

Supporting Social Inclusion in community gardening: the role of occupational environment

Researcher: Elise Whatley, La Trobe University

This study explored the participation of mental health support workers, people living with mental health challenges (participants), and volunteers in the occupation of community gardening and factors that helped or hindered participation and inclusion. The setting for the study was Mind Sprout in Thornbury Victoria.

Psychological Growth in Carers of People with Mental Illness

Researcher: Zafiroula Vlahodimitrakou, University of Ballarat

The research project aimed to identify whether positive psychological changes, referred to as psychological growth (for example gaining personal strength), occur for carers and family members of people with mental illness. For more information click here


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