Supervision practice for allied health professionals within a large mental health service: exploring the phenomenon
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This paper reports on an exploration of the concept of 'supervision' as applied to allied health professionals within a large mental health service in one Australian State. A two-part methodology was used, with focus group interviews conducted with allied health professionals, and semi-structured telephone interviews with service managers. Fifty-eight allied health professionals participated in a series of seven focus groups. Semi-structured interviews were conducted with the Directors or Managers of mental health services in all 21 regions in the state. Allied health professionals and service managers both considered supervision to be an important mechanism for ensuring staff competence and best practice outcomes for consumers and carers. There was strong endorsement of the need for clarification and articulation of supervision policies within the organization, and the provision of appropriate resourcing to enable supervision to occur. Current practice in supervision was seen as ad hoc and of variable standard; the need for training in supervision was seen as critical. The supervision needs of newly graduated allied health professionals and those working in rural and regional areas were also seen as important. The need for a flexible and accessible model of supervision was clearly demonstrated.
The Clinical Supervisor
Health, Clinical and Counselling Psychology