Working with your team
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- You should be included in your mental health care.
- People who support you should listen to your wishes about your mental health care.
- It is good to think about who you want to be involved in your mental health care if that is what you want.
- You may have a group of people who support you with mental health care. This could include your carer, family members, friends, and health and disability workers.
- These people can talk with you to plan, and help you manage your care. You can communicate with people about how they can work together to support you best.
How working together with your team can help you have good mental health
You may have different people who support your mental health. These people are your team.
Your team includes you and can include:
- family members
- a guardian. A guardian is a person who helps you make decisions about parts of your life when you cannot make decisions by yourself.
- support workers
- mental health workers
- other disability workers
- advocates. An advocate is someone who helps you to speak up and get the support your need.
Your team may work together to support your mental health. Working together means things like:
- talking about what would help you best
- making a plan together to support you to have good mental health
- sharing information about you to help you (if you say this is OK)
- meeting with you to see how you are going.
There are good reasons for your team to work together. These include:
- each person will know how they can help you best
- each person can share their ideas to help you have good mental health
- you do not have to repeat the same information
- so your care plan is clear. A care plan is a list of things you can do to help you get better. A care plan is sometimes called a treatment plan.
Not everybody wants to have a team. Some people are OK working with mental health workers themselves. But others want to work with a team.
Some people are OK if their health and disability workers do not talk together often. But others would like them to talk together more about their mental health care.
Teams do not always work well together
Some people with intellectual disability communicate with us that their supporters, mental health, and disability workers do not always work well together to help them have good mental health.
When your team does not work together well you may have:
- to repeat the same information to different people involved in your mental health support
- mental health care plans that are hard to understand or say different things
- trouble getting the best support for your mental health.
We have some ideas for how you and your team can work together best to support you.
How you and your team can work together to support your mental health
You can let your team know that you would like them to work together more to support your mental health. Some ideas for how you can do this are to ask your team:
- to share information with each other
- to do assessments and manage your care together
- to discuss your mental health care more often with you and each other
- to have one care plan
More details on these ideas are below.
There is a Working together with your mental health team planning resource that you can use to help plan how your team will work together. You can look at this plan with someone you trust if you want. You can then work through it with your GP and mental health workers.
Share information with each other
You could ask your team to:
- share information about your health such as test results with each other. This means you do not have to keep giving this information to new mental health workers. Mental health workers will only share information if you or your guardian say it is OK. It is OK if you do not want them to share some information.
Your mental health workers can also help your disability workers to support your mental health. For example they can explain:
- how they can help you practise skills that you learn in therapy
- what activities could support your mental health.
Do assessments and manage your care together
People from your team may be able do an assessment together to understand your needs. An assessment is when a health or disability worker asks you questions about you and your health. They use this information to work out the best way to help you.
You can ask your workers if they could do an assessment together so you do not have to repeat the same information more than once.
Your team can also work together to manage your care. Your health and disability workers can discuss how you are going with your treatment and whether they need to make any changes.
Discuss your mental health care more often with you and each other
So everyone in your team is up to date on your mental health care, you could ask your mental health workers to do the following.
- Email updates or reports to your GP (your regular doctor) and other members of your team.
- Arrange regular meetings. This could be:
- in person
- via teleconferencing. Teleconferencing allows you to see and communicate with people online. You can use programs like Zoom to teleconference. To communicate is how you understand and share your feelings or information.
- by phone.
Different members of your team may be involved in different meetings.
- During these meetings:
- you can say if you are happy with your care or would like to make changes
- your team can tell you and each other how they are supporting you
- your mental health care can be planned
- if something is not working, a new plan can be made.
- Your mental health workers could write down what happened at your appointment and email it to your team.
- You can ask your team about online tools or an app to keep in contact. Discuss with your team which apps can make sure your information is kept private.
If you have a National Disability Insurance Scheme (NDIS) plan, it is important to check if any extra meetings between mental health and disability workers will come out of your NDIS budget.
Have one care plan
Ask if your team could make a care plan together so all the information is clear and in one place.
If you cannot have one care plan you can ask your mental health and disability workers to look at each plan to make sure that they know how other people are supporting you.
Click on the Next page button to learn about how working together can help you in other ways.