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Focusing on recovery in mental health

MERIT is committed to improving care for people with mental health problems and is involving local people in developing the service to help patients in recovery.

MERIT is committed to improving care for people with mental health problems and is involving local people in developing the service to help patients in recovery.

The alliance will explore different models of recovery, share best practice and analyse service user feedback in a bid to be more responsive to the needs of patients in the community. By improving the way we work we will help to prevent relapses and readmission back to secondary care wherever possible.

Dr Anne Crawford-Docherty, Consultant Clinical Psychologist at Black Country Partnership NHS Foundation Trust and Lead for MERIT's Recovery workstream, said:

"Our work can't just involve us going out and telling people how things are going to be. It's about asking questions. There are experts by profession and there are experts by experience - it's a collaboration.

"Previously, when someone was in mental health crisis they were treated in hospital for that crisis, then discharged and their recovery treatment would begin.

"Either they would be offered the standard course of therapy and 'sent on their way' or they would go into more specialist mental health care where they would be diagnosed and given drugs for one or more medical conditions. They would then work with a psychiatrist for as long as it might take for them to be discharged from secondary care.

"Our work now recognises that recovery should begin when the person first makes contact rather than being seen as something that happens after the crisis has been treated. We need to ensure that every interaction we have with an individual experiencing mental health problems promotes recovery and hope."

As part of a series of learning workshops, an event in Birmingham city centre in March brought together NHS staff, people who use mental health services and their carers to talk about what recovery means and how MERIT can facilitate patient recovery and improve their quality of life.

Dr Crawford-Docherty added: "It's important that we engage and involve people in the community to aid the recovery process. It's about asking 'What do people who DON'T have mental health problems do or need in their lives that makes them happy, functional and successful?' We then apply those same things to people who DO have mental health problems to help identify what we can do to help. People with mental health problems are no different to anyone else - we all need the same things.

"It has been said in the past that once someone opened the door to the hospital, the door to the community closed behind them - we want to make sure that door is always kept open."

The vanguard will also look at areas such as how employers can work with mental health services to help people back into work, and make a record of groups in the community which can help people in recovery.

Patients will benefit from a better overall experience with holistic support and less need for crisis care, which will also reduce the demand on NHS resources.

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  • @MERITvanguardwm - 5 months ago

    Merry Christmas and Happy New Year from the MERIT programme team. We look forward to working with you in 2018.

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