Award for Enhancing the Social Good awarded to Centre for Health Service Development, Australian Health Services Research Institute, University of Wollongong
The 'Evaluation of the Pathways to Community Living Initiative' makes a strong contribution to the social good by building up knowledge and support for the deinstitutionalisation process for those with severe and persistent mental illness (SPMI).
The evaluation informed and supported the development of new service models for appropriate care in the community.
It is noted that community-based settings aid recovery of those with SPMI, and historically limited support to this context has reinforced inequalities experienced by those with long-term mental health challenges. The overall quality of the evaluation was excellent. The team adopted a useful formative approach with a strong commitment to add value and contribute to the on-going refinement of the program. The evaluation team's focus on the significant role of clinicians and the need to build support and reflective practice within rehabilitation psychiatry are impressive. Similarly, theoretical and methodological attention to the drivers of transformation in a complex health system were important to identify and maintain focus on areas critical to change. Attention to including consumer and carer perspectives were pivotal in building a valid, credible, and useful evaluation.