Many people with mental health issues become a passive actor in managing their own health, after many years of being told what to do by various health professionals.
This program is about putting the person back in control of their health.
The Optimal Health Program was developed by Frameworks for Health, an organisation dedicated to translating ‘real world’ health research into everyday clinical practice.
The program is based on Collaborative Therapy and supports people in managing their mental health by putting the individual at the centre of their own care and growing their sense of self-efficacy.
Self-efficacy is the measure of your belief in your capacity to complete tasks and accomplish goals. The Optimal Health position is that a person's health must be self-managed; it should be supported by health services, not dependent on them.
The program had been proven to be effective, but once it was delivered at scale by multiple organisations across Australia, two questions surfaced.
The first was fidelity; how can we make sure information isn’t lost, that the original (proven) course material is being honoured?
The second was transfer; how can this information be delivered in a compelling way at all times, without relying exclusively on ‘star’ facilitators?
We applied object-mediated learning techniques, prototyping and improving the tools that empowered the patient on their journey.
Existing program tools were based on worksheets, and the structure was based around the facilitator’s journey, rather than that of the participant. We switched the line of thinking so that information was structured around the participant’s journey, making for a more meaningful experience.
We immersed ourselves in the patient’s world, building an understanding of their current experience with the program. Working with program facilitators, we investigated the existing tools to understand the areas that work well and those that needed work. We used this information to build initial prototypes, evaluating our thinking along the way by iteratively testing the tools with end-users, facilitators, and health professionals.
We have been extremely impressed with the empathic and innovative problem solving techniques that Thick have brought to the table to the benefit of our Optimal Health program. They've helped us to create an effective and scalable tool that will ultimately make a big difference in many patients’ lives.Prof. David Castle
Chair of Psychiatry, St. Vincent’s
The outcome of this phase of the project resulted in a prototype of a participant workbook. The workbook is easy-to-use and discreetly designed, enhancing patients’ experience of the course material not just by improving information flow, but also by giving them a set of tools to learn and master along the way.
The workbook is part health diary, part manual; where participants can learn to be more self-aware by observing, charting and monitoring their own health indicators. The discreet design transformed a course workbook into a personal journal.
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