Future mental health treatment plans jointly agreed by service users and medical staff could reduce the use of compulsory treatment, according to a leading academic.
Institute of Psychiatry professor Graham Thornicroft told Community Care that early trials of the crisis plans, which specify the type of care people with severe mental illness would like to receive in the event of a crisis, have been positive.
Thornicroft said the plans, which are negotiated by an independent third party, could develop trust between service users and staff and encourage earlier voluntary contact with services in the event of a crisis.
The institute, which is studying the plans with South London and Maudsley NHS Mental Health Trust, has applied for funding to further investigate the initiative.
Thornicroft also said more than half of the clinical psychology graduates from some university courses could not find a job.
He said this may be a result of NHS cuts.