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Join our growing network as we collaborate to achieve improved mental health outcomes in Australia

Who are we?

We provide the training, implementation and support needed to enable the widespread and sustained adoption of the Open Dialogue approach.

We collaborate with Australian mental health and youth services, schools, governments, philanthropy and community so that young people, individuals and their families can experience better outcomes in health and wellbeing.

Through partnerships and projects we are committed to expanding the evidence base and raising awareness about Open Dialogue’s role in person-centred care involving family and community.

What is Open Dialogue?

Originally founded in Finland during the 1980s Open Dialogue is an approach that is embraced globally by mental health services.

Australia is emerging as a pioneering force in recognising the significance of Open Dialogue with a focus on young people through prevention and early intervention settings.

Open Dialogue places individuals at the forefront of their mental health decisions and slows down the diagnosis process. It honours the principle of ‘nothing about me without me’, and emphasises the role of social connection and family in healing and recovery.

Lived and living experiences are also highly valued in the peer-supported Open Dialogue approach, enabling personal insights and firsthand understanding to strengthen decision-making and service delivery.

The value of Open Dialogue

Internationally mental health services have found that Open Dialogue can reduce hospitalisation and relapse, improve engagement with services, enhance satisfaction and staff morale and reduce suicide and adverse events.

While Open Dialogue has achieved remarkable success across diverse settings globally, its principles and social network perspective has attracted interest with schools and other settings where young people are present.

Why is it important?

It is estimated that nearly 50% of Australians will experience mental health challenges at some point in their lives. For many, contact with the current mental health system can be disruptive, confrontational, and even traumatising.

The role of family and friends in supporting those who experience mental health challenges is often not valued within the Australian mental health system. Evidence shows that to achieve the best outcomes, services need to collaborate with the person at the centre, and their support network.

What are we working on now?

Open Dialogue is an approach that aligns with the intentions of Australia’s National Mental Health and Suicide Prevention Plan. It is also featured in the Victorian Royal Commission recommendations.

Right now, the Centre is working collaboratively to support how Australia can further implement Open Dialogue in innovative ways – linking health, community and youth transition services to schools.

We are designing new pilots and projects with our partners to create change, particularly in key settings where rushed solutions and treatments are not delivering positive outcomes for young people.

Discover some of our partnership stories here.

Our beginnings

Founded in collaboration with Relationships Australia NSW and GrantFamily Philanthropy, the Open Dialogue Centre has worked since 2021 to strengthen and sustain how Open Dialogue is adopted.

The Grant Family has a decade-long commitment to addressing gaps in the Australian mental health system. Their lived experience and support focuses on innovative and collaborative approaches that emphasise person-centred care involving family and community.

Learn more about the Grant Families experience and role here. 

What are we working on now

Over the last decade, the Open Dialogue approach has emerged as a transformative force in the Australian mental health landscape, carving a niche for itself, especially in the realms of prevention and early intervention.

Our success stories serve as compelling evidence of the profound impact and effectiveness of the Open Dialogue model across a variety of settings. Discover some of these stories here.

How can we help?

Through tailored partnerships, we focus on multidisciplinary team capacity building. Our emphasis on creating unique training options allows organisations to integrate Open Dialogue seamlessly into their existing frameworks, ensuring a customised approach that aligns with their specific needs.

We offer informative and interactive workshops designed for both individuals and organisations. These workshops serve as dynamic platforms for dialogue, where participants not only gain theoretical knowledge but also engage in exercises that deepen their understanding of Open Dialogue principles in practice.

Furthermore, we offer comprehensive training courses designed to impart in-depth knowledge, empowering participants with the tools and proficiency required to effectively apply Open Dialogue.

 

What are we working on now?

Over the last decade, the Open Dialogue approach has emerged as a transformative force in the Australian mental health landscape, carving a niche for itself, especially in the realms of prevention and early intervention.

Our success stories serve as compelling evidence of the profound impact and effectiveness of the Open Dialogue model across a variety of settings. Discover some of these stories here.

Core Offerings

We provide thorough Open Dialogue implementation support, accompanying and supporting you at every stage of your journey. Drawing on our extensive experience, we tailor our assistance to meet your specific needs.

Including:

  • Discovery workshops
  • Pre-implementation testing meetings
  • Model of care re-design workshops
  • Executive to executive sessions
  • Data collection and evaluation tools
  • Engage and learn from other organisations
  • Tender submissions

[Learn more about implementation] (Link to Implementation page)

This process helps ensure that we best meet your needs and ensure effective execution of Open Dialogue principles in your organisation.

Find out more about how we could help you implement Open Dialogue:

How we work

We work with your organisation and teams to create bespoke professional training that allows for Open Dialogue to be a seamless part of your service, values and networked approach.

We support small, medium and large organisations through the process of implementing Open Dialogue in a way that is sustainable for the long-term.

Co-design and implementation Support

We partner with organisations to co-design, embed and support the implementation of Open Dialogue.

Training and education

We offer a series of Open Dialogue training options tailored to the needs of organisations and community.

Impact and Evaluation

We support teams to evaluate and measure the impact of Open Dialogue for people and organisations.

Implementation Support

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Training

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Impact and Evaluation

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Open Dialogue

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Open Dialogue Centre

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Our beginnings

Founded in collaboration with Relationships Australia NSW and GrantFamily Philanthropy, the Open Dialogue Centre has worked since 2021 to advance the adoption of the Open Dialogue model and innovative programs.

The Grant Family, having lived experience with mental illness, shares a decade-long commitment to addressing gaps in the Australian mental health system. Their support focuses on fostering innovative and collaborative models that emphasise person-centred care and recovery, involving families and trusted individuals.

Want to find out more about who we're partnering with?

Acknowledgement of Country

Open Dialogue Centre acknowledges Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples as the traditional custodians of the land and waters on which we live and work. We acknowledge their Ancestors who first walked on this land and pay our respects to Elders past, present and future, for they carry the cultural wisdom, the stories, the traditions and dreaming.

Acknowledgement of Lived Experience

We recognise and appreciate the unique and collective contributions of individuals with lived and living experiences of mental ill-health and suicide, as well as those who love, have loved, and provided care for them. Each person’s journey is distinct and represents a valuable contribution to Australia’s ongoing commitment to reforming mental health and suicide prevention systems.

Acknowledgement of Lived Experience

We recognise and appreciate the unique and collective contributions of individuals with lived and living experiences of mental ill-health and suicide, as well as those who love, have loved, and provided care for them. Each person’s journey is distinct and represents a valuable contribution to Australia’s ongoing commitment to reforming mental health and suicide prevention systems.

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