Ideas on how to improve mental health services from someone with a long term mental health condition.

Three things that would make the biggest difference to mental health services
• A culture change in mental health service providers to focus on recovery and putting the patient first.
• Producing a diagnostic manual that was fit for purpose and had a focus on people instead of conditions.
• Every local authority signing up to the local authorities mental health challenge.

Leadership
• Every locality should have a mental health partnership board that has representation from all local authority, any commissioning bodies, the third sector, businesses, and patients.
• All providers of mental health services should have a “lived experience champion,” a member of the executive team who has lived experience of a mental health condition or a carer for someone with a mental health condition.
• There needs to be a national mental health patient leadership programme and qualification to recruit patient leaders and patient consultants.

Local Authorities
• All local authorities from every tier of local government need to sign up to the local authority mental health challenge.
• Every local authority should have to consider its community wellbeing as part of their local development plans.
• Councillors should be given training and advice on how to work with and hold to account mental health service providers.
• There should be an annual conference for CCG mental health champions and local authority mental health champions.
• Local authorities and local councillors need to be a key stakeholder in any discussions about mental health.
Services
• Every locality should have a recovery college that is accessible to all (not just people in secondary services).
• Every locality should have a recovery strategy.
• Peer support should not be standalone, the values and principles of peer support should become part of every mental health practitioner’s values and principles.
• Every mental health service provider should have a statutory duty to employ a patient representative and/or consultant.
• Every mental health service user needs to have an advance statement and/or self-management plant that is co-produced by them and a mental health professional
• We need a new way to diagnoses mental health conditions; if we are honest with ourselves, the DSM is not fit for purpose. If we are serious about having a focus on people not conditions, the DSM and any associated diagnostic manuals need to be binned and re-written.
Inpatient
• Inpatient services need to become more people friendly and not look like a hospital, all inpatient environments should be designed by patients.
• When you are an inpatient, you should not be made to feel as though you are a child. Patients should be free to order in takeaways, watch movies and play video games together.
• Every inpatient unit needs to have a designated patient representative that has themselves used inpatient mental health services that patients can approach with an issues.
• Your life should not have to stop when you enter an inpatient unit.
Crisis Services
• Every locality should have a “street triage” programme.
• Every locality needs a “crisis lounge” a safe place of recovery.
• A national mental health crisis line with an added national mental health crisis website with ability to instantly message people.
• Crisis teams should be intensive periods of intervention, offering recovery and self management tools instead of teams that basically make sure you haven’t killed yourself yet.
Employment & Training
• Every mental health service provider should have an apprenticeship programme that its patients can access.
• There should be a “fast track” course for service users so it is easier for them to access university courses such as mental health nursing and social work.
• All companies and business should not only have to provide a designated first aider, but also have to provide a designated mental health first aider. Health and safety should include someone’s mental health too.
• All staff training should be delivered by a mental health professional and patient representative/consultant.
• We spend so much money on medication and therapy but hardly anything on helping someone keep/attain employment, yet all the evidence suggests employment is key to a good wellbeing?


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