BLOG POST 5:
COMMUNITY APPROACHES TO MENTAL HEALTH
Use of An Implementation Ladder
I mentioned in my most recent post that when implementing any new initiative, it is essential to have a clear vision and set of goals and an overview of the journey you are about to embark on. This is not only important as the Coordinator/Chairperson of a committee or area of improvement, but also allows the whole team and staff to keep track of progress and see where you are heading. It keeps you focused as a team when trying to organise meetings and helps to ensure that nothing gets overlooked.
Having a clear overview and set of steps that need to be taken are a critical part of success. An implementation ladder can provide all of the steps to be taken focused on the process rather than the “how”. This then allows any team to apply it effectively to their setting. By this I mean that the implementation ladder has clear steps that any group would use in order to achieve improved mental health outcomes but the specifics related to the local environment are determined by each team and therefore may be slightly different for each locality.
An implementation ladder can also help keep the team:
- Stay on track
- Can be a checklist to use to track achievement and progress
- Can be used when planning agendas for meetings
- Can allow a team to start wherever on the journey they want to, while keeping in mind the whole picture
I initially made use of an Implementation Ladder when doing Behaviour work in schools and found it to be so successful in assisting implementation that I created a similar approach when I co-founded and chaired a highly successful Community Mental Health Action Team. When looking to work collaboratively across the sectors and community I needed a clear direction as to where to start and what had to be covered. As a result, I created my own Implementation Ladder to guide us through the process as a committee.
The process of putting this document together meant that I examined all of the focus areas that needed to be covered at the onset. I was then able to use the document as both a planning tool, but also for reflective data to keep track of our achievements. I maintained a focus across the document of processes rather than the “how” and specific strategies and as we approached each new set of tasks we created action plans to match the step we were up to.
I am a strong believer that using an Implementation Ladder helps to guide the team and give the team a greater chance of success and accountability. This process has been pivotal to my success as a Chairperson of many committees, and has allowed me to maintain a feeling of control when determining what needs to be achieved.
It is an important starting point for any committee or passionate individual and helps guide the team in order to achieve improved mental health outcomes.
I have included a FREE sample of various implementation checklists to help you get started creating your own. Please click on the link on the side of this page or below to download it and get started making your own implementation checklist.