Dr Catherine Foley, Steve Adei and Ben Steele presented at the NDARC Webinar Series on Thursday 13 October 2022.

This presentation explored a co-design process that was implemented in clinical services in metropolitan Australia from 2019-2022.

The challenge of successfully implementing integrated care in mental health (MH) and alcohol and other drug (AOD) services is well established. Whilst the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on clinical practice continues to unfold, the concerning effects of increased isolation on people and services is clear. Now more than ever, a pragmatic approach to service collaboration is critical.

This presentation described a tailored co-design study that brought together mental health (MH) and alcohol and other drug (AOD) workers at multiple organisational levels. The process of co-design, and the value of supporting the workforce to drive the service development, was discussed. 


About the speakers

Steve Adei has more than seven years of experience as a peer worker in the public health sector and community managed sector, currently working as Peer Manager for Prince of Wales Hospital in the South Eastern Sydney Local Health District. He is also a peer educator for the South Eastern Sydney Local Health district as well as the Recovery College, a casual lecturer at UNSW to medical students in mental health topics, a mental health consultant with private organisations, and an advocate and public speaker for individuals with psychosocial disabilities. He is also a member of the Inclusion (Disabilities) Committee for the City of Sydney.

Ben Steele has worked in project management and consumer work within SESLHD Drug and Alcohol Services for 11 years. Ben is a certified Peerzone Facilitator, a peer educator for the Recovery College, and an expert advisor on a range of committees, including for state and national government and non-government lived experience, community, and Ministry of Health organisations. Ben now runs his own consultancy business “Will2Evolve” where he works in the NSW Health sector with Drug and Alcohol, Mental Health, Community Services, and Consumer Peer workforces. He enjoys working with diverse and marginalised populations in line with trauma informed care and harm minimisation philosophies with cultural competency.

Catherine Foley is a psychologist and researcher who lives and works on Gumbaynggirr Country on the Mid North Coast of NSW. Catherine has a clinical background in substance use, mental illness, and complex trauma. Her research program aims to support communities and health services to develop pragmatic and holistic models of care that are collaboratively designed and driven. Critical to this is working beside clinical and lived experience workers to develop research that draws from, and benefits, the people accessing their services. Catherine has a strong commitment to improving health experiences and outcomes for people who have co-occurring mental health and substance use conditions.

Date Commenced
13 Oct 2022
Resource Type
NDARC Seminars