Services told to link with other sectors

Mental health services should develop partnerships with agencies
outside their field to help promote social inclusion of the people
they serve, a new report recommends.

The report, by the King’s Fund and the Sainsbury Centre
for Mental Health, finds that assertive outreach teams should offer
a range of interventions and focus on forming working relationships
with existing mental health services and with primary care.

Out of the Maze states that service commissioners
should give priority to developing partnerships with housing
agencies, welfare benefits and advice agencies, and education and
training providers.

Partnership working should be properly resourced and there
should be a dedicated community development worker in each
assertive outreach team, it adds.

Mental health agencies should also be involved in the planning
and implementation of urban regeneration and neighbourhood
development schemes as they are often all operating in the same
deprived communities.

The aim should be to develop an approach to reduce the
dependence on in-patient beds for crisis admissions and long
hospital stays, it says.

– Out of the Maze from

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