Day services for people with mental health problems should focus on their recovery and take place in mainstream settings where possible, according to new government guidance.
Services should move from being based in a building to supporting people to access opportunities in their community, the guide for commissioners says.
In further guidance published last week, the Department of Health urges local authorities to make direct payments for people with mental health problems the norm.
And it suggests that vocational services focus on enabling people with mental health problems to gain and retain employment and mainstream education, rather than waiting for them to recover.
Paul Corry (pictured), campaigns and communication director at mental health charity Rethink, said the guidance was moving in the right direction. But he warned that major changes to day services could not take place without the transitional funding to make them work.
He also said some people with mental health problems wanted to use segregated services because of the discrimination they faced in the wider community.
And he argued there was “professional resistance” from staff to allowing people with mental health problems to receive direct payments.
● Guidance available from www.dh.gov.uk