Devon Partnership NHS Trust pilots mental health services

Supporting Recovery project to aid those with mental health problems

A NEW initiative to support the recovery of people using mental health services will be piloted at six sites across the country, including Devon.

Devon Partnership NHS Trust has been selected for the Supporting Recovery project, which will use research from the Centre for Mental Health, which sets out ten key indicators for organisations to support the recovery of people using mental health services.

It is the result of a partnership between the CMH, the NHS Confederation and the National Mental Health Development Unit and is a national initiative.

The Government’s new mental health strategy – No Health Without Mental Health – was launched last week and this recognises how important personal recovery is in supporting people with mental health needs.

Nationally, Devon Partnership NHS Trust has been at the forefront of recovery-based thinking and practice for the past few years.

Speaking of its importance, Dr Glenn Roberts, consultant psychiatrist, said: “When we talk about personal recovery in mental health we mean working with people to achieve greater hope, opportunity, choice and control - a more positive and fulfilling life for them and those around them. Recovery, and recognising that people with even the most severe mental health problems can recover, is a fundamental part of modern mental health services.

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“Over recent years, we have moved away from focusing on clinical conditions, treatments and medication, towards a far broader picture of each person and their goals and expectations. We have introduced recovery standards within our Trust and worked hard with our staff to put the notion of recovery at the heart of everything we do. We are also constantly fighting the battle to reduce the stigma associated with mental health, and to burst some of the myths about it.

“In 2009 we published Beyond the Storms, a collection of recovery stories from people all over Devon - and it had a profound impact. We are all hopeful that being selected as a pilot site for the Supporting Recovery project will enable us to develop and share our skills and learning further still, all of which will help us to do a better job in supporting people with mental health needs.”

Initial evaluation results will be published nationally within 12 months. The Supporting Recovery project will assist organisations to undertake self-assessments against ten indicators, plan changes and report their outcomes over two years. This work addresses the following High Impact Areas:

• More people will receive care which is, as far as possible, ‘self-directed’ and reflects their preferred goals and outcomes

• More people with serious or severe mental health problems will be able to use their own experience and expertise to manage their symptoms, in partnership with professionals

• More people with serious or severe mental health problems will be in employment

• More people with serious mental health problems will be living in appropriate accommodation.