Carer Research and Evaluation Unit (CREU)

Aims

The Tandem Carer Research and Evaluation Unit (CREU) aims to ensure consumer and carer participation in research and systems improvements in the mental health sector. It is innovative and creative in approach and committed to strong partnership with consumers and carers and other stakeholders.

The unit aims to further develop and implement tools and processes for meaningful consumer and carer participation in mental health service planning, evaluation and improvement in an ongoing and systematic way.

The unit aims to be a centre of excellence in experiential carer based research to increase consumer and carer participation in both clinical and MHCSS services, and to undertake consumer and carer directed research with relevance and utility for a range of stakeholders.

 The CREU was set up in 2007

Current Projects

CORE project

In 2012 Victorian Mental Illness Awareness Council (VMIAC) and Tandem were invited to work in partnership with the Department of General Practice at the University of Melbourne and other research partners on a project titled Getting to the CORE: testing a co-design technique to optimise psychosocial recovery outcomes for people affected by mental illness (called the CORE study). The CORE study is funded for four years (2013-2017) to trial an approach, based on a prior project, the Mental Health Experience Co-Design Project, which brings together service users (consumers and carers) and mental health staff to identify areas for improvement (touch points) in community mental health services and implement changes.  more

Supported decision making project for people with severe mental health problems

The Supported decision making project is a research project, supported by Australian Research Council (ARC) Linkage funding, which is being conducted by Monash University in partnership with VMIAC, Tandem and other partners. It is investigating the experiences of consumers, carers and health professional in relation to supported decision making. It will develop a public website which will detail participants’ experiences and provide training materials that will explain what supported decision making is and how it can contribute to the process of personal recovery, and how service providers can best support these processes.

The principal researcher for CREU is a member of the project’s advisory group.

The use of online technology to enhance self-management and recovery in severe mental illness (SMART project)

This 4 year project is funded by the Victorian Department of Health and Mental Illness Research Fund (MIRF) to develop online resources to be used to enhance outcomes for people experiencing serious mental illness. The research program is being led by Swinburne University of Technology in conjunction with local experts in psychological interventions for severe mental illness, and key clinical and non-government mental health service providers.

The principal researcher for CREU is a member of the advisory group for this project.

Previous Projects in partnership with the Department of Health & Human Services

Projects with other service partners

  • The Consumer and Carer Participation project was conducted in collaboration with Eastern Health Aged Persons Mental Health Service and VMIAC (2009 to 2010). 
  • The carer CREU conducted the Suicide Guidelines Project and published the results of the research it undertook on carers’ experiences of the mental health system in relation to suicide (2009).
  • The carer CREU undertook the Prahran Mission Carer Participation and Involvement Project and made recommendations to assist the service in its vision of improving services to consumers and carers (2010-2014).
  • Tandem and VMIAC CREUs, in partnership with the Psychosocial Research Centre, undertook a literature review and interviews with key informants including consumers, carers and mental health professionals on experiences of privacy and confidentiality. This research was used to develop an issues paper for the National Mental Health Consumer and Carer Forum, which formed the basis for their position paper on Privacy and Confidentiality (2011). 
  • In 2011-2012 the Tandem and VMIAC CREU’s worked in partnership with North West Area Mental Health Service’s Community Care Unit (CCU) and Mobile Treatment and Support Team (MSTS) on a project using an adapted version MH ECO delivered in a reduced time frame.
  • In 2011-2012 both CREU’s also worked in partnership with North West Area Mental Health Service’s Community Care Unit (CCU) and Mobile Treatment and Support Team (MSTS) on a project using an adapted version MH ECO delivered in a reduced time frame.
  • Tandem CREU worked in partnership with Mind Australia (2012-2013) on a project which explored the experiences of carers of the Mind service and made recommendations in relation to improving carer participation and involvement.