Feedback from participants of OHP

"Now I am at a place in my life where I can see how the green book was a life saver yet during the first three weeks I never looked at it till my next meeting with Penny, now I refer back to it on a daily basis when I feel the need for a refresher" (Paul, participant).

"I really believe in the Optimal Health Program and the difference it has made to me. I now want to share it with others and do the training" (Tim, participant).

"I believe that the model and design of the program is wonderful and could be beneficial to a wide range of people" (Mandy, practitioner).

"By having an opportunity to engage with consumers of OHP face to face I gained some excellent experience and understanding of facilitation and intervention techniques. I met a group of people who I have never had contact with before (i.e. stroke survivors and their carers) and gained great insight into their daily lives and struggles. It was OHP that provided them with the opportunity to consider their well-being. The experience confirmed for me that I want to help people in this way. Thus, I am currently undertaking Clinical Masters in Psychology to become a registered psychologist. Thanks to my involvement in OHP I have been able to see the real life benefits of health psychological interventions" (Amy, psychology graduate).

"I deliver OHP training to a range of practitioners and see the important benefits of this program for all health professionals to maintain their own wellbeing" (Dr Gaye Moore, FFH Program Manager)

"The Optimal Health Program is a collaborative salutogenic approach to managing symptoms to produce designated levels of wellbeing determined by the participant. It draws upon many evidence based practices that sit within collaborative therapy, positive psychology and wellbeing. It also draws upon outcome informed evidence where the participant takes ownership for their own wellbeing processes, planning and interventions. The program is therefore a framework of engagement with the content being determined by participants. This approach requires the practitioner to create a reciprocal learning environment where relational expertise for both roles is honoured.

Though certain elements of the program may resonate more with one participant or practitioner over others, no one element of the program is greater than the whole. The program is intentionally designed to be an andragogcial process, where the participant constantly builds capacity for self, to ever enhance self-directed holistic wellbeing. [The program does have key elements that may be used as stand-alone tools or interventions, in an informal manner, which may be beneficial in the moment.] The program is in alignment with the key elements of consumer defined recovery; being self-determined and self-directed and provides the essential mechanism of how to, that is through self-advocacy.

Therefore, at the heart of the program sits two important instruments: the “I Can Do Model” and the Health Plans. The I Can Do Model defines the actual, as well as potential resources, one can draw upon to manage any adversity in life to maintain desired levels of wellbeing, while the Health Plans ensure personal autonomy is maintained at all times, including during episodes of illness.

Of my twenty five years involved in peer health education, the Optimal Health Program is my preferred tool for promoting holistic wellbeing" (Marco De Ieso, Training Coordinator, Neami National).