Practice Implementing Supervision in Mental Health Community Managed Organisations
Implementing Practice Supervision in Mental Health Community
Managed Organisations in NSW - recommendations and tools for
implementing 'Practice' Supervision.
It is widely accepted that all professionals working in the
mental health field, whether clinicians or not, experienced or just
starting out, will benefit from regular practice supervision.
Supervision is a tool with which CMOs can build capacity, promote
best practice, maintain staff-wellbeing, enhance staff
professionalism, build staff cohesion and share experience across
the sector. It is perhaps the most important element in the
development of a competent practitioner. The supervisory
relationship should be a complex blend of professional, educational
and therapeutic aspects. It is within the context of supervision
that professionals develop a sense of professional identity and
examine their own beliefs and attitudes regarding clients and the
work they undertake.
MHCC have launched a resource which sets out to provide
recommendations for the development of effective supervision
programs and policy across the community managed mental health
sector. Through the literature review the resource explores
different understandings and definitions of supervision; examines
histories and theories of supervision, outlines practice models and
reports on the findings from the study conducted by MHCC into
current supervision practices within the mental health community
managed sector in NSW. Suggested readings and case studies direct
those with a deeper interest to access information which can
further assist them in developing policy and practice. MHCC seeks
to provide the reader with a guide to the main issues in
supervision, and to provoke discussion on the appropriate
application of supervision in NSW CMOs.
We have also explored ways in which CMOs are currently
using supervision practice, examined potential benefits and costs,
and identified some of the barriers to its effective use, making
suggestions for organisations to consider when developing a
supervision model appropriate to a particular program type, or when
reviewing an existing model in place.
The structure of this paper comprises the following discreet aspects:
- A literature review: providing research evidence internationally and in Australia across a number of community/ allied health sectors as to experience and evidence based practice in both public/ CMO / private settings over many decades.
- Scoping current practices identified through fifteen consultations with six MHCC member organisations investigating the challenges and opportunities that organisations, their managers and supervisors are experiencing.
- A report analysing the themes that arose from the consultations.
- Suggested supervision strategies for CMOs to utilise that take
into account the differing service context and worker roles and
The issue of supervision is one that has clearly emerged as a
critical issue in sector workforce development and the creation of
best practice in community managed workplace culture. The
Supervision Project arose out of response to an evident gap in the
knowledge base surrounding supervision practices in CMOs across the
community mental health and human services sectors in NSW. MHCC
hope that this resource goes at least some of the way in filling
the gap in knowledge around supervisory practices, and provides a
useful springboard to further studies and research in the
Download the Implementing Practice Supervision
For further information please contact Corinne Henderson, MHCC
Senior Policy Officer t: 02 9555 8388 ext 101 e: