Is the Partners in Recovery program connecting with the intended population of people living with severe and persistent mental illness? What are their prioritised needs?Nicola Hancock A D , Jennifer Smith-Merry A B , James A. Gillespie B C and Ivy Yen B
A Faculty of Health Sciences, University of Sydney, NSW 1825, Australia. Email: email@example.com
B Menzies Centre for Health Policy, University of Sydney, NSW 1825, Australia.
C School of Public Health, University of Sydney, NSW 2006, Australia. Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
D Corresponding author. Email: email@example.com
Australian Health Review - http://dx.doi.org/10.1071/AH15248
Submitted: 29 January 2016 Accepted: 28 July 2016 Published online: 2 September 2016
Objective The Partners in Recovery (PIR) program is an Australian government initiative designed to make the mental health and social care sectors work in more coordinated ways to meet the needs of those with severe and complex mental illness. Herein we reflect on demographic data collected during evaluation of PIR implementation in two Western Sydney sites. The aims of the present study were to: (1) explore whether two Sydney-based PIR programs had recruited their intended population, namely people living with severe and persistent mental illness; and (2) learn more about this relatively unknown population and their self-identified need priorities.
Methods Routinely collected initial client assessment data were analysed descriptively.
Results The data suggest that the two programs are engaging the intended population. The highest unmet needs identified included psychological distress, lack of daytime activities and company, poor physical health and inadequate accommodation. Some groups remain hard to connect, including people from Aboriginal and other culturally diverse communities.
Conclusions The data confirm that the PIR program, at least in the two regions evaluated, is mostly reaching its intended audience. Some data were being collected inconsistently, limiting the usefulness of the data and the ability to build on PIR findings to develop ongoing support for this population.
What is known about the topic? PIR is a unique national program funded to engage with and address the needs of Australians living with severe and persistent mental illness by facilitating service access.
What does this paper add? This paper reports on recruitment of people living with severe and persistent mental illness, their need priorities and data collection. These are three central elements to successful roll-out of the much anticipated mental health component of the National Disability Insurance Scheme, as well as ongoing PIR operation.
What are the implications for practitioners? Active recruitment, exploration of self-reported need priorities and routine outcome measurement are essential yet challenging work practices when working with people living with severe and persistent mental illness.
References Department of Health and Ageing. National mental health report 2013: tracking progress of mental health reform in Australia 1993–2011. Canberra: Commonwealth of Australia; 2013.
 Morgan VA, Waterreus A, Jablensky A, MacKinnon A, McGrath JJ, Carr V, Bush R, Castle D, Cohen M, Harvey C, Galletly C, Stain HJ, Neil AL, McGorry P, Hocking B, Shah S, Saw S. People living with psychotic illness in 2010. The second Australian national survey of psychosis. Aust N Z J Psychiatry 2012; 46 735–52.
| People living with psychotic illness in 2010. The second Australian national survey of psychosis.CrossRef | 22696547PubMed |
 Jablensky A, McGrath J, Herrman H, Castle D, Gureje O, Evans M, Carr V, Morgan V, Korten A, Harvey C. Psychotic disorders in urban areas: an overview of the study on low prevalence disorders. Aust N Z J Psychiatry 2000; 34 221–36.
| Psychotic disorders in urban areas: an overview of the study on low prevalence disorders.CrossRef | 1:STN:280:DC%2BD3c3kvVeruw%3D%3D&md5=ce71e2e680d71945a16de809701f6e9fCAS | 10789527PubMed |
 De Hert M, Correll CU, Bobes J, Cetkovich-Bakmas M, Cohen D, Asai I, Detraux J, Gautam S, Möller HJ, Ndetei DM, Newcomer JW, Uwakwe R, Leucht S. Physical illness in patients with severe mental disorders. Prevalence, impact of medications and disparities in health care. World Psychiatry 2011; 10 52–77.
| Physical illness in patients with severe mental disorders. Prevalence, impact of medications and disparities in health care.CrossRef | 21379357PubMed |
 Slade T, Johnston A, Teesson M, Whiteford H, Burgess P, Pirkis J, Saw S. The mental health of Australians 2. Report on the 2007 National Survey of Mental Health and Wellbeing. Canberra: Department of Health and Ageing; 2009.
 Whiteford HA, Buckingham WJ, Harris MG, Burgess PM, Pirkis JE, Barendregt JJ, Hall DD. Estimating treatment rates for mental disorders in Australia. Aust Health Rev 2014; 38 80–5.
| Estimating treatment rates for mental disorders in Australia.CrossRef | 24308925PubMed |
 National Mental Health Commission (NHMC). The National Review of Mental Health Programmes and Services. Sydney: NMHC; 2014.
 Department of Health and Ageing. Partners in Recovery (PIR). Coordinated support and flexible funding for people with severe, persistent mental illness and complex needs initiative. Program guidelines for the engagement of PIR organisations 2012–13 to 2015–16. Canberra: Commonwealth of Australia; 2012. Available at: http://www.pirinitiative.com.au/resources/doc/doha/pirguide.pdf [verified 16 October 2015].
 Brophy L, Hodges C, Halloran K, Grigg M, Swift M. Impact of care coordination on Australia’s mental health service delivery system. Aust Health Rev 2014; 38 396–400.
| Impact of care coordination on Australia’s mental health service delivery system.CrossRef | 25000849PubMed |
 Smith-Merry J, Gillespie J, Hancock N, Yen I. Doing mental health care integration: a qualitative study of a new work role. Int J Ment Health Syst 2015; 9 1–14.
| Doing mental health care integration: a qualitative study of a new work role.CrossRef |
 Slade M, Thornicroft G, Loftus L, Phelan M, Wykes T. Camberwell assessment of need. London: Gaskell; 1999.
 Brophy L, Bruxner A, Wilson E, Cocks N, Stylianou M. How social work can contribute in the shift to personalised, recovery-oriented psycho-social disability support services. Br J Soc Work 2015; 45 i98–116.
| How social work can contribute in the shift to personalised, recovery-oriented psycho-social disability support services.CrossRef |
 Slade M, Amering M, Oades L. Recovery: an international perspective. Epidemiol Psichiatr Soc 2008; 17 128–37.
| Recovery: an international perspective.CrossRef | 18589629PubMed |
 Hancock N, Bundy A, Honey A. Sources of meaning derived from occupational engagement along the journey of recovery from mental illness. Br J Occup Ther 2015; 78 508–15.
| Sources of meaning derived from occupational engagement along the journey of recovery from mental illness.CrossRef |
 Lal S, Ungar M, Leggo C, Malla A, Frankish J, Suto MJ. Well-being and engagement in valued activities: experiences of young people with psychosis. OTJR 2013; 33 190–7.
| Well-being and engagement in valued activities: experiences of young people with psychosis.CrossRef | 24652027PubMed |