Month: August 2016

Two new COMMUNITIES OF PRACTICE

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Warren Heggarty of the Physical Wellbeing CoP (Communities of Practise) and Debra Gibbons of the Peer Workforce CoP are going to give you a rundown of what actually happens in CoPs. But first, some preliminaries…

What is a Community of Practice?

A CoP is a group of people who share an interest or passion for something and want to learn how to do it better by regularly interacting with each other. Communities of Practise promote collaboration, improving recovery and strengthening on-the-job skills. They bring people together from distant locations to capture organisational knowledge (things we all learn on the job that could be of benefit to everyone within RichmondPRA).

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I’m walking here, I’m walking here!

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Pedestrian Aggressiveness Syndrome is an official condition now…

Grant J Everett

So say you’re taking a stroll somewhere, and you’ve decided that you want to test if some random person on the street has anger management issues. Luckily, you’ve got a lot of options: you can walk really slowly in front of them, quickly stride past and cut them off, block them from getting past you, or bump into them without an apology.

It looks like “sidewalk rage” (technically known as Pedestrian Aggressiveness Syndrome) is officially a thing now. It’s a condition closely associated with road rage, and just like road rage it has the capacity to escalate some people all the way to an intermittent explosive disorder (“going off”). Researchers are currently trying to figure out why some people manage to remain calm in certain situations while others will totally lose their religion to the exact same stimuli. It’s also hoped this research will provide more effective ways for people to manage their anger, instead of going nuclear.

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Guide dogs: Labrador’s got talent

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By Grant J Everett

Guide dogs can be sourced from many breeds, but one thing these highly-skilled pups all have in common is that they’re equally dedicated to the task of guiding people who are vision impaired around real-world obstacles. However, all canines have red–green colour blindness and are incapable of understanding street signs (um, because dogs can’t read), which is why both dog and owner will have to go through mobility training together so they can learn how to work as a team.

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We reveal…

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By Grant J Everett

Thanks to RichmondPRA I was able to attend the 18th TheMHS Summer Forum, a two day event held at the Mercure Hotel. Methamphetamine use was the core topic, and lots of professionals such as psychologists, psychiatrists, researchers and drug & alcohol workers presented on many relevant issues surrounding ice use.

Day one started on an inspiring note with our first speaker, Jack Nagle, sharing the first-hand realities of severe ice dependence. Jack went into great depth about the toll that meth exacts on its users, a price that is often paid in psychosis and thoughts of suicide. Jack highlighted how vital it was to constantly find sources of meaning in life while he kicked the habit: although the pain of withdrawal is hard enough on its own, without some kind of goal or “anchor” in life it’s harder still. Booting ice addiction meant that Jack had to relearn a lot of basic life skills, such as being able to budget his money, maintaining his hygiene and even the most basic of social skills. Jack described how ice addiction had reduced him to an “animal” level, and the long struggle to reclaim his humanity. Jack continues to find meaning in life, and has remained clean for years.

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Play Priority Cards

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One method of teaching priorities is Priority Cards. Each card represents an expense such as “Rent,” “Haircut,” or “Pay TV.”

Working either alone or as a group, the idea is to sort the cards into different levels of importance.

It’s more fun in a group because it reveals that everybody has THEIR OWN idea of what is very important, important, or not important.

Peer Worker and MoneyMinded Facilitator Kathy Te Nuku has used MoneyMinded Priority Cards with people at Harris Park. She describes their use in groups as “very successful.”

Employees at Harris Park formed two different groups. Working as teams, each group discussed which budget items were the most important priorities for survival.

Warren’s group at Figtree even got into a spirited discussion over whether unpaid fines were “very important” or just “important!”

Most Business Service Peer Workers have the cards – or you can make up your own. Give them a try.

www.moneyminded.com.au

Impulse, Procrastination or Priority?

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Think about what you actually spend your money on, and then compare that to what you really want or need to spend it on. Most people will find a discrepancy. I’ll bet you this discrepancy was mostly caused by two things: impulsiveness or procrastination, the twin enemies of setting priorities.

Suppose you need a holiday. “But I can’t afford it on the DSP,” you say. If you think carefully, you may find you have bought things today that are of LESS importance to you than that holiday. So maybe you CAN afford it…if you prioritise.

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Recovery and disability: is there a contradiction?

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According to the NDIS operational guidelines, a disability is a permanent thing – or likely to be so. Nevertheless, at RichmondPRA we talk about recovery for EVERYONE. This sounds like a contradiction, but is it really?

“Ah, this is the question from hell,” said former NMHC Commissioner Janet Meagher AM in a media panel discussion last year. “This, in some people’s minds, is a very contentious issue. And I’m here to say I don’t believe it is contentious at all… the legislation for NDIS says ‘permanent or likely to be permanent’… But recovery is still compatible with ‘permanent or likely to be permanent…’”

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