Guiding principles for Mental Health work

The recently released National Mental Health Core Capabilities contain some key guiding principles relating to working in the mental health area, that closely reflect the approach adopted by Make a Difference.   These include:

Principle 1: Person-centred

Principle 2: Responsive to Families and Carers
Families, carers and support people play a critical and often unacknowledged role in enabling people with mental health problems and mental illness to live and participate meaningfully in the community.

Principle 3: Recovery-focussed
Recovery-oriented mental health practice means:
• uniqueness of the individual 
• real choices (which includes achieving a balance between duty of care and support for an individual to take positive risks)
• attitudes and rights (which includes listening to, learning from and acting on communications from the individual and their carers)
• dignity and respect
• partnership and communication (which includes acknowledging each individual is an expert on their own life)
• measuring progress towards recovery 

Principle 4: Evidence-based
We should build on existing health workforce innovations that have been trialled and proven elsewhere.  Our approach also needs to draw upon best practice and research as a means of ensuring ongoing safety and quality in the delivery of services by the mental health workforce.

Principle 5: Flexible
This requires an acknowledgment that our ability to meet growing and changing demands from people using services can only be achieved by being flexible.