Distress brief intervention: building connected compassionate support


Distress brief intervention: building connected compassionate support

Collaboration, Compassion and Ambition 2019 - 4th December 2019
50 minutes; 11:50 and 13:20

The need to improve the response for people presenting in distress is strongly advocated by people with a lived experience of distress and frontline services. The Scottish Government established the DBI programme (2017), which is led by North Lanarkshire and South Lanarkshire Health and Social Care Partnerships and is being tested in Aberdeen, Inverness, Lanarkshire and Scottish Borders. This collaboration is between health and social care, including third sector, and emergency services (primary care, Police Scotland, Scottish Ambulance Service and emergency departments).

Collegues are trained to provide an immediate compassionate response to people presenting in distress (DBI Level 1), then refering the person (DBI Level 2) onto trained and commissioned third sector partners, who work with person within 24hrs and up to 14 days to provide community based distress management and wellness planning support.

  • A clear vision: connected compassionate support, has nurtured the strongest spirit of collaboration. The demedicalisation of distress has been empowering and inclusive.
  • A focus on compassion: a sensitivity to distress together with the commitment, courage and wisdom to do something about it, underpins a shared commitment to collective action.

Through improvement science, collaborative infrastructure, tools and systems have been created and tested and barriers removed. Over 1,350 staff are trained (University of Glasgow) and empowered to deliver support. Over 3,800 people referred for DBI Level 2 support, with results showing improvements in distress, people experiencing exceptionally high levels of compassion and feeling more able to manage their immediate and future distress. Independent findings show that DBI is changing, and critically saving, lives.  

The focus on distress has been an empowering journey. The focus on compassion has been truly liberating.

This workshop will share and explore ongoing experiences and outcomes from the national Distress Brief Intervention (DBI) Programme, including the emerging critical factors involved in building a collaborative culture, which facilitates the building of connected, compassionate, support for people presenting in distress and those providing support.

Workshop participants will gain:

  • Increased understanding of the critical factors involved (individual, cultural, organisational, structural, environmental and systemic) in building efficient, effective, connected and compassionate support for people in distress.
  • Increased understanding of the DBI programme.

Workshops leaders will be joined by colleagues from Police Scotland, Scottish Ambulance Service, A&E and third sector. They will engage with delegates in a reflective discussion.

This workshop is by North Lanarkshire HSCP and South Lanarkshire HSCP.

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