Implementing a new model of care to support carer and sibling mental health

Why do we need this project? 

We have identified a need for a consistent service response to self-identified mental health concerns in parents, carers and siblings of patients already receiving treatment for health conditions at The Royal Children’s Hospital (RCH).  

This detracts from efforts to provide family-centred care, which improves outcomes for patients and better supports the needs of their families/carers. 

Research question: Does asking about parent, carer, and/or sibling self-identified mental health concerns support help-seeking behaviours, amounting to feasible and acceptable practice within a paediatric hospital setting? 

Study sites 

The study is taking place in the Complex Care Hub (CCHUB Tier 2 and Tier 3 support) and Kelpie Ward Eating Disorders Service at the RCH. 

Our objectives are to: 

  • measure the change in proportion of parent, carers, and siblings, who were asked about their mental health and wellbeing   
  • determine if provision of mental health literacy resources and supports (model of care) results in help seeking by parents and carers about their own and/or any siblings’ mental health 
  • determine changes to staff confidence and competence in detecting and responding to mental health and wellbeing concerns in parents/carers and siblings in the pilot population 
  • determine the acceptability and feasibility of this single question model of care approach for staff involved in pilot implementation 
  • describe the sample of interest (parents, carers and siblings of children accessing health care through RCH Kelpie EDS and Complex Care Hub) in relation to demographic information, and levels of existing mental health concerns 

Acknowledgement of Country

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At Mental Health Central we acknowledge the traditional custodians of the land on which we live, gather and work. We recognise their continuing connection to land, water and community. We pay respect to Elders past, present and emerging.

We acknowledge all people with a lived or living experience of mental ill-health and recovery. At the Campus, we particularly acknowledge children, young people, families, carers, and supporters. We recognise their vital contribution and value the courage of those who share this unique perspective for the purpose of learning and growing together to achieve better outcomes for the Campus, staff, sector, and all people of lived experience.

Proudly supported by the Royal Children’s Hospital Foundation