Margins 2 Mainstream Submission Template
DESIGN PROGRAMS WITH THE LAY CONSUMER IN MIND.
Simon McMahon Well PADE
In moving from margins to mainstream, mental health promotion and prevention activities must be
designed (Methodology 4) to engage and connect with the lay majority, the ‘normal unwell’ and not
just the seriously mentally ill.
Well PADE is a mental health promotion and Well-being program to Prevent Anxiety and
Depression related mental health problems and optimise the mental health and productivity of adults
in the labour force.
Well PADE was developed as a result of two identified needs. Media reports and anecdotal evidence
indicated that mental health services (responding to crises and the seriously mentally ill) in the
targeted community were strained and in some cases failing the community. Secondly, a number of
gaps in existing educational material on depression and anxiety disorders were identified and the
program aims to fill these.
By using universal and selective prevention principles Well PADE aims to relieve the strain on the
mental health system by connecting with the lay majority earlier.
Well PADE focuses on those experiencing the start of mental health problems and not the seriously
mentally ill. Accordingly Well PADE was designed using language and examples directed at the lay
majority, without academic or scientific jargon. For instance, when learning is facilitated around the
protective factor of social support and participation (Determinant 1) Well PADE doesn’t mention
the psychometric properties of the latest instrument measuring this. We ask the participants what
social support and participation means and looks like to them. From there the facilitator draws out
the common elements and active ingredients of social support (derived from research) discusses how
they benefit us and explores practical ways of increasing social support and participation in daily life.
A full article and presentation by Well PADE at the Margins to Mainstream Conference would
elaborate on how the program was designed to engage to the lay majority, with a focus on social
support and participation.
Mental health promotion and prevention programs should be designed with lay consumers in mind.
Prior to publishing or delivering material, all content should be considered from the perspective of a
lay consumer. Can the information be made simpler or clearer? Does it contain any jargon? What is
the benefit to the lay consumer of knowing this information? These are questions forming practical
steps for advancing mental health promotion and prevention activities from margins to the main