The Essentials of Supported Decision-Making In Practice

Practical ways for mental health workers to align everyday practice with the human rights principles that underpin supported decision-making

Contemporary mental health service delivery and legislation is informed by human rights frameworks and supported decision-making (SDM). But how do mental health workers align their practice to these principles?

This workshop is designed to help mental health workers better understand SDM by examining its underlying principles, and by investigating the ways in which it differs from shared decision-making. It also provides participants with practical opportunities to further develop their supported decision-making skills for everyday practice.

How does SDM work?

SDM recognises that people communicate their needs and preferences in different ways. It involves collaborating with consumers to help build preferences into choices, and choices into formal decisions.

What will participants learn in this workshop?

  1. The principles of SDM, and the ways in which supported decision making differs from shared decision making
  2. The risk of human rights violations that compulsory treatment presents for consumers, and how SDM mitigates that risk
  3. How SDM helps individuals to retain their legal status for informed consent, and how SDM can work to help them develop this capacity
  4. The concept of mental health-related disability as a ‘social’ rather than ‘medical’ experience, and how loss of self-determination increases disability when understood in this context
  5. Ways to reflect on the consumer-clinician dynamic as it relates to making decisions and managing risks
  6. Practical resources to help them apply SDM in their practice, including strategies for negotiating, tolerating and sharing risk

Reducing dis-abling systemic barriers can en-able participation in decisions about treatment and recovery

How do I enrol in this workshop?

Currently, the CPN can only accept enrolments from Nurse Education teams within Victorian area mental health services. If you are an individual or a group of practitioners, contact your Education team to express your interest. Services are entitled to a minimum of two CPN workshops per year at no cost, with a minimum of 15 participants each.

Further reading about SDM

Gooding, P. (2013). "Supported Decision-Making: A Rights-Based Disability Concept and its Implications for Mental Health Law." Psychiatry, Psychology and Law 20(3): 431-451.

What is the social model of disability?

Stella Young Ted Talk – inspiration porn and the objectification of disability