What should I expect from a good quality mental health service?
Mental Health Reform advocates for a recovery-oriented culture among mental health services.
What do we mean by recovery? Recovery is a very personal process. Ultimately, each individual will define what recovery means to them. Regardless of how somebody is feeling at any one particular time, the supports must be available to allow them to live their life to the fullest.
People who talk to Mental Health Reform repeatedly express the need for a more humane service that listens to the service user. This is not a costly transformation. More than anything it demands a change in the attitudes and behaviours of everyone involved in providing support for the person in mental distress, whether it is local primary care staff, mental health service staff, family carers or the wider community.
A recovery-oriented service should keep the individual at the heart of decisions made about their mental health, and should recognise and acknowledge that every individual can achieve recovery, flourish, and fulfil their potential with the right support. One way services can support recovery is by working with the individual and, where appropriate, their family, to develop an Individual Care Plan.
In A Vision for Change, the Government mental health policy, the recovery approach is explained as one which helps people to:
“understand and cope with their mental health difficulties, build on their inherent strengths and resourcefulness, establish supportive networks, and pursue dreams and goals that are important to them”.
Mental Health Reform has summarised the main elements of a recovery-oriented approach: Hope, Listening, Partnership, Choice and Social Inclusion.
Mental Health Reform has published a Recovery briefing paper and Recovery information leaflet, both available online.