Mr Dale Forbes1, Mrs Anne Darton2
1Agency of Clinical Innovation Statewide Burn Injury Service Consumer Representative, , , 2Agency of Clinical Innovation Statewide Burn Injury Service,
The challenges facing burn survivors are numerous and can often take many years to overcome. Some of these include: anxiety, depression, altered body image and social adjustment. The Australian burns landscape features a mix of government and NGO health services offering a variety of therapeutic support models commonly used in burn survivor rehabilitation and recovery however, the availability and accessibility of burns support and services is varied and often limited.
A co-design approach has been used in the development of this project. Burn Survivors and burn clinicians across Australia and New Zealand have been partners in the development of themes, features and functions of this online space. The attributes identified through this process are to create a space that is trustworthy, safe and gives support and continued engagement.
Beyond Burns key message is to let burn survivors know they are not alone in their experience. Primarily focused on improving long term psychosocial outcomes for burn survivors, the online hub provides many different ways for burn survivors to connect to others in the community, whether it is by accessing quality burns medical resources, reading personal stories or connecting to others through chat.
The online hub will be the leading support platform for the burns community, providing a centralised and comprehensive directory of services and provide a safe space where other burn survivors can give back to support and empower the burns community.
Dale Forbes is an Aboriginal man from Rural NSW. Dale has a lived experience as a Burn Survivor in addition to growing up in Out of Home Care. Dale has been heavily involved in volunteering and charitable work in burns sector for many years. Dale is currently finishing a Bachelor of Social Work while working as an Aboriginal Senior Project Officer with the NSW Department of Family and Community Services. Dale has been a driving force behind the Beyond Burns project from the initial conception through to the design and development and has a deep commitment to collaborative consumer centred approaches