Tuesday 20 March 2012

Infiltrating the mainstream

Presenters in the third session at the Positive Services Forum discussed the increase in PLHIV accessing  mainstream services and the need for mainstream and specialised services to work together to develop new and innovative approaches to service delivery.

Kathy Triffitt discusses mental health. 
Presenters gave a range of perspectives from various geographic jurisdictions, informed by the specific health areas that they work within.

Chris Howard from Positive Directions in Queensland highlighted how the HIV positive population are widely dispersed thoughout the state, with over 50% of PLHIV living in rural/ regional areas, while at the same time there are limited resources to service this population. He said that integration between services needs to occur at three levels: individual, organisational and systemic. Download presentation

Nada Radcliffe from the AACACT discussed the development process and rationale behind "HIV today", a care and support program. This development work included engaging women's legal services, the Canberra Hospital and tertiary institutions. Download presentation

Craig Cooper reflected on his experiences working in the HIV sector, sharing a number of case studies from his work history. He concludes that both specialist and mainstream services have important roles to play. Both need to be mindful of changing client needs as well as the changing policy environment  and service model changes that impact approaches to delivering services for all clients, including PLHIV. Download presentation

Claire Lawrie from the WA AIDS Council outlined her new role at WAAC involving community based liason and social engagement. A major focus of this work is about building relationships with key organisations and fostering  collaborative opportunities with other services. Download presentation

Kathy Triffitt from Positive Life NSW outlined a summary of key findings from her research into PLHIV and mental health issues. Her comprehensive presentation touched on many issues including inappropriate refferals and lack of awareness about mental health issues commonly experienced by PLHIV. Download presentation

These  presentations highlighted the importance of capacity building for mainstream service providers and HIV-focused organisations to ensure all are equally well-versed in HIV-related issues and broader health issues. Comments from the floor showed that there was keen interest from participants at the forum in mental health issues.

A small group discussion was then held to brainstorm what are the barriers to building relationships with mainstream services and how they can be overcome.

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