A good facilitator enjoys working in groups and has good communication skills. They are someone who can manage group dynamics and offer support. They are committed to fostering a safe space where everyone and anyone can feel included and respected. Knowledge and experience in mental health recovery and implementation science is a benefit, but motivation to learn is just as important. The facilitator needs to have good reading and writing skills and be comfortable with computers. If facilitation is virtual, then being confident about using and learning new computer programs and applications is essential.
Yes. Having a multi-stakeholder Implementation Team that includes service users is an essential feature of Walk the Talk. Service users bring a unique perspective and many of the activities draw specifically on the knowledge and experience they bring.
The toolkit was designed to be delivered in-person. However, adapting to a virtual delivery is possible and we provide some links to apps and resources that can be used to do so. See Tips for Virtual Facilitation.
Any organisation providing services to people living with mental health problems or illnesses can use this toolkit. The toolkit is designed to be used by a designated facilitator. All the materials are written for facilitators, so that they can follow the process we have designed to implement Chapter 6 of the Mental Health Commission of Canada’s Guidelines for Recovery-Oriented Practice.
Mental health recovery is not about “curing” mental illness or becoming symptom-free, it is about “living a satisfying, hopeful and contributing life, even when there are ongoing limitations caused by mental health problems and illnesses.” (Anthony, 1993)
No. It is voluntary. Nobody should be forced to join the team. When recruiting team members the facilitator will look for members who are motivated to participate for the whole process. However, participation is optional, and if a member chooses to leave the team they can do so without penalty. The facilitator will attempt to replace them with someone else from the same stakeholder group.
The facilitator will follow the Walk the Talk guide for interviewing and selecting candidates for the Implementation Team. The facilitator makes the final decision on who joins the team. They may consult with the Ad Hoc Planning Committee. Candidates who are not chosen may be asked if they are willing to be contacted if a spot on the team opens-up at a later time. Those who are not chosen to sit on the Implementation Team can still play an important role as champions for implementing recovery into services.
The whole Walk the Talk process can take between 12 and 18 months to complete. For facilitators of the toolkit, we estimate that they need 2 days a week to work on Walk the Talk including all the meetings they will animate. For Implementation Team members, we estimate they will need 2 days a month to devote to Walk the Talk.
We developed these materials in real-time while working with 7 Implementation Teams across Canada. At the time, none of the Implementation Team members had impaired hearing or vision and so many activities were designed around the use of sound and sight. Some of the activities and approaches would require some adaptation to be used with members who have impaired hearing or vision, and we very much welcome facilitators to make such adaptations.
Organisations adopting Walk the Talk need to provide the following resources: 1) a facilitator (internal or external) with 2 days a week to devote to the project for 12-18 months. 2) time allowance for some CEOs, executive directors and managers to participate in bi-monthly meetings of the Ad Hoc Planning Committee (2-3 months). 3) Freeing-up two days a month for 1-2 managers, and 1-2 service providers to participate on the Implementation Team for approximately 12 months 4) Small financial compensation for 1-2 service users and 1-2 family members who participate on the Implementation Team.
Try discussing incentives with the CEO or executive director of the organisation. For example, having a catered lunch or meeting where the project is presented. Identify some champions in the organisation who might be able to help recommend people to approach. Use a diverse set of approaches to speak to staff about the project (not just email). Ask the Ad Hoc Planning Committee for suggestions too, but also remember participation is voluntary. The managers or CEOs should not force anyone to be on the team.
Consensus is about a group of people coming to a decision that everyone agrees on. Consensus doesn’t necessarily mean that everyone has to agree on every detail, it is reaching a point when everyone agrees in general that this is the best decision the group can take at this time. Walk the Talk integrates consensus-based approaches to decision-making and encourages this approach, while at the same time ensuring ways for individuals to express different views and personal preferences.
The Walk the Talk Implementation Team is different from many other organisational teams or committees because it is made up of people from different stakeholder groups and every member has equal power and rights in the group. For example, service users, service providers, managers and family members all sit on the team and are all equally important to the team and process. We also encourage facilitators to think about how the location of the team meetings, and what’s provided at them (refreshments) can set the Implementation Team apart from other types of committees.
This toolkit can help you implement Chapter 6 of the Mental Health Commission of Canada’s Guidelines for Recovery-Oriented Practice in a bottom-up rather than top-down way. One reason implementation efforts can fail is because change is often imposed from the top. Walk the Talk uses Implementation Teams and consensus-based approaches to align implementation efforts with recovery principles like choice and empowerment.
The Walk the Talk process can itself be transformative. Implementation Teams and facilitators who used the toolkit and who sat on the Expert Panel for the website’s development had the following things to say.
The Walk the Talk process builds capacity in the organisation for facilitation, implementation science and recovery-oriented practice.
It brings together a group of people in the organisation who are committed to recovery and it strengthens their commitment.
Participants, whether facilitators or Implementation Team members, can go on to become ambassadors for recovery-transformation.
It helps to transform organisational culture by approaching change in a different way.
It builds capacity for change in the organisation.
Participants will gain in-depth knowledge of mental health recovery and learn from each other.
The Walk the Talk toolkit is about mental health recovery, not recovery from addictions or substance abuse. It is a toolkit for implementing a chapter from a guideline for recovery-oriented practice into mental health services, or services aimed specifically at persons living with a mental health diagnosis or problem.