Staff Attitudes Towards Consumer Participation and Peer Worker Roles in a Community Mental Health Service [2018]

Objective: To investigate the attitudes of community mental health staff towards consumer participation and peer workers in mental health services.

Methods: In this cross-sectional survey design study, community mental health staff completed the Mental Health Participation Questionnaire (MHPQ) which measures the attitudes of mental health professionals towards consumer participation at individual and systemic levels.

Results: 82 staff completed the questionnaire. Overall, staff expressed positive attitudes towards consumer involvement in mental health service care planning and treatment, with neutral attitudes towards the more systemic aspects of consumer involvement in management and consumers as educators. The results also demonstrated that staff do value lived experience expertise and change that consumer involvement and peer workers can bring to services to enable them to support recovery. Positive relationship qualities between mental health staff and peer workers were found to be important.

Conclusion: This study adds to existing research that has found community mental health staff generally have a positive attitude towards consumer participation in mental health services.

Aguey-Zinsou, M., Sommer, J., & Yule, E.
Journal of Recovery in Mental Health, 2(1), 2018