OHP is a collaborative salutogenic approach to managing symptoms to produce designated levels of wellbeing determined by the participant. It draws upon many evidence based practices that sit within collaborative therapy, positive psychology and wellbeing. It also draws upon outcome informed evidence where the participant takes ownership for their own wellbeing processes, planning and interventions. The program is therefore a framework of engagement with the content being determined by participants. This approach requires the practitioner to create a reciprocal learning environment where relational expertise for both roles is honoured. Topics covered in the program include the explorations of strengths, vulnerabilities, stressors and strategies, domains of wellbeing from physical health through to occupational health, networks of support and social determinants of health.
Though certain elements of the program may resonate more with one participant or practitioner over others, no one element of the program is greater than the whole. The program is intentionally designed to be an andragogcial process, where the participant constantly builds capacity for self, to ever enhance self-directed holistic wellbeing. [The program does have key elements that may be used as stand-alone tools or interventions, in an informal manner, which may be beneficial in the moment.] The program is in alignment with the key elements of consumer defined recovery; being self-determined and self-directed and provides the essential mechanism of how to, that is through self-advocacy.
Therefore, at the heart of the program sits three important instruments: the Optimal Health Wheel, the “I Can Do Model” and the Health Plans. The Optimal Health Wheel is a validated self rated wellbeing measurement tool. The I Can Do Model defines the actual, as well as potential resources, one can draw upon to manage any adversity in life to maintain desired levels of wellbeing. While the Health Plans ensure personal autonomy is maintained at all times, including during episodes of illness. To this end the participant continually builds capacity to take control of managing their own wellbeing.
OHP aims to elicit critical thinking, self-regulation and resilience activation; being key skills in recovery and managing one’s own wellbeing. Furthermore OHP initiates conversation on the determinants of health and wellbeing which provides the participant to view themselves in the context of the community in which they live, giving both the participant and the facilitator insight as to the participant’s holistic circumstances and priority areas that need to be addressed.
The OHP framework is also consistent with the national standards for recovery oriented practice for mental health practitioners and services. Yet it is flexible enough to contextualise it to meet the needs of the individual participant or that of specific groups. OHP can be facilitated over five open sessions instead of eight linear sessions due to participant need and funding availability. OHP has also been mapped against trauma informed principles ensuring it meets the requirements for trauma competence in practice.
There are four primary variations of OHP available, with their own version of participant workbooks:
Wellbeing is suitable for anyone who wants to improve their overall satisfaction with their wellbeing. It is generic enough to be contextualised for anyone who is experiencing chronic disease, disability, isolation, vulnerability and trauma.
Mental Health is suitable for anyone experiencing mental health issues or who has a mental health diagnosis and is seeking to build their self-efficacy in managing the impact mental health has on their wellbeing. The program can be used alongside clinical interventions or as stand alone outreach
Substance Use is suitable for anyone who uses substances and is impacted by that use, particularly on their mental health and wellbeing. This version takes a harm minimization approach and explores reasons for use, impacts of use and develops strategies to ameliorate wellbeing despite addiction. The program can be used as an intervention to reduce or manage use along side of clinical supports.
Workplace Wellbeing is suitable for building and maintaining a culture of wellbeing in the workplace to create a community of holistic wellbeing. It is also suitable for people preparing to return to the workforce.
OHP has been successfully trialled with the following populations: mental illness, dual diagnosis, day programs, in patients and out patients, ABI, forensic clients, victims of domestic violence, sex workers, homeless, diabetes, cardiovascular, dialysis, suicide prevention, mental health rehab and stroke survivors. OHP is used as the primary engagement tool is some Prevention and Recovery Centres [PaRCs], Youth Residential Services, Clinical Day Programs, Community Mental Health Services, Primary Health Networks [PHNs], employment and forensic services. It has also been used as a respite tool for carers and workers.