Tuesday 12 March 2013

Not The Usual Humbug

I am enjoying looking at our new guide for students which is based on the experiences of over 1,000 people with a serious mental illness and their carers and has been produced as part of a ground-breaking Comic Relief-funded initiative.

The guide, "A Recovery Approach to Mental Illness", is designed for formal and informal students in the areas of health and social care, mental health nursing, medicine, psychology and criminology, and provides an introduction to Hafal’s unique recovery approach which has proved successful for hundreds of service users over the past decade.

More recently our approach has been integrated into law under Part 2 of the Mental Health Measure so that now everybody using secondary mental health services in Wales can benefit from it! Any student in Wales who wants to study or work in the field of mental health will want to read the guide as well many further afield.

The guide has been produced by Hafal as part of the Comic Relief-funded Expert Patient Trainer Project, a unique training opportunity aimed at bringing the expertise of those who have a direct experience of mental illness to a wide audience of students, health professionals, employers, policy makers, and other service-users and carers.

Speaking about the initiative our Learning Centre lead Nicola Thomas explains: "Building on the successes of Hafal’s National Learning Centre, and in particular the contribution made by service users as trainer-consultants, the Expert Patient Trainer Project has worked to develop training for a variety of organisations in the educational, voluntary, private and public sectors.

"Through this new initiative service users and carers are developing and delivering courses and gaining their own training qualifications in the process. The aim is to empower these service users and carers, to give them a leadership role, and to reduce stigma.

"This guide is a key part of our strategy to deliver a service user perspective to health professionals in order to improve practice and introduce a recovery ethos into services."

Quite so - this is practical advice on achieving real recovery, not the usual humbug about "improving a sense of wellbeing" etc.

To download the guide click here.