MHF calls for culture shift to help users manage own conditions

The Mental Health Foundation has called for a culture change within the mental health system to help service users manage their own conditions and achieve greater independence.

In a report released on 5 February, Recovery in Action, the charity urged policymakers, providers and mental health commissioners to embed the concept of “recovery” within services.

The report is based on an evaluation of eight pilot recovery projects set up around the country by the Strategic Network for Mental Health, a coalition of three specialist housing associations and Birmingham Mind, in conjunction with MHF. It was concluded that standards of care could be greatly improved by helping service manage their own money, housing and healthcare needs.

The report called on NHS strategic health authorities to apply recovery to all types of services, including acute wards. Service users were also encouraged to challenge barriers they may face and become more involved in service development.

Mental Health Foundation chief executive Andrew McCulloch said the report was a “landmark” for recovery. He added: “The challenge now is to keep the momentum going and fully realise the hope and opportunities recovery-oriented services can offer to people with mental health problems.”

The report also gives practical help and guidance for mental health agencies setting up recovery across their services, including a training module and organisational checklist.

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