Implementation guidelines for non-government community services

10.1 Supporting recovery

Page last updated: 2010

The MHS incorporates recovery principles into service delivery, culture and practice providing consumers with access and referral to a range of programs that will support sustainable recovery.

The intent of this standard is to ensure that service providers facilitate the recovery journey for consumers by assisting consumers to achieve wellness and their recovery goals, rather than just treating the illness.

Recovery oriented culture and practices (criterion 10.1.1)
Dignity and respect (criterion 10.1.2)
Recognition and support (criterion 10.1.3)
Self (criteria 10.1.4, 10.1.6)
Social inclusion and citizenship (criterion 10.1.5)
Positive connections - social, family and friends (criterion 10.1.7)
Participation of consumers (criterion 10.1.8)
Community services and resources (criterion 10.1.9)
Carer centred approaches (criterion 10.1.10)

Recovery oriented culture and practices (criterion 10.1.1)

In recovery-oriented services, recovery values are reflected in the organisation, administration and staffing. The principles of recovery oriented mental health practice should drive all service provider programs, policies and procedures.

Evidence that this criterion is met could include:
  • an organisational purpose statement that includes reference to recovery processes and outcomes
  • organisational values and principles that make explicit the commitment to supporting recovery
  • programs, policies and procedures for service delivery that are based on recovery principles
  • quality improvement that is developed, implemented and monitored collaboratively with consumers and carers
  • the Principles of Recovery Oriented Mental Health Practice guide staff selection, training and supervision.

Dignity and respect (criterion 10.1.2)

Every individual has worth and deserves respect, dignity and effective care. A focus on the consumer's recovery and participation in their own care can facilitate this.

Evidence that this criterion is met could include:
  • the consumer's own expectations and goals for their recovery are fundamental drivers for the services they receive
  • clean and welcoming reception areas and waiting rooms
  • reception area staff trained in how to greet consumers respectfully and make them comfortable while waiting to be seen
  • private rooms with adequate sound proofing available for assessments and consultations. Top of page

Recognition and support (criterion 10.1.3)

Acknowledging the uniqueness of the individual is a principle of recovery-oriented mental health practice. It empowers consumers as they know they are the centre of the care and support services they receive.

A key part of the recovery approach is to help consumers assume responsibility for themselves. This is achieved by instilling hope, re-establishing a positive identity and self esteem, healing and empowerment. They also feel connected, through the implementation of human rights principles, a positive culture of healing, and recovery-oriented services.

Evidence that this criterion is met could include:
  • documenting that the consumer has been supported to develop their own recovery goals and that services have been tailored to help them achieve those goals
  • with the consumer's consent, engaging with other service providers, carers, family and friends, to make plans for reaching these goals
  • feedback from consumers that they feel empowered to take on decision-making tasks
  • providing information and education to consumers and carers - in formats appropriate to their needs - about the consumer's condition, how they can take responsibility for their own well being, and how to improve and maintain their overall health and well being
  • documenting that the consumer has been given access to information on peer-based support programs and services that promote recovery.

Self (criteria 10.1.4, 10.1.6)

Service providers can help consumers to develop independence and regain self-direction, understanding and control of their illness.

Evidence that these criteria are met could include:
  • documenting the use of advance care directives and individual service recovery plans
  • demonstrating how consumers are supported to develop connections with communities
  • relationships and partnerships with community organisations beyond the mental health service system
  • educating staff about special interest groups and community activities for consumers. Top of page

Social inclusion and citizenship (criterion 10.1.5)

Social inclusion and the ability to contribute to the life of their community is important in the recovery journey of many consumers. Service providers can have a systemic advocacy role as well as an advocacy and support role to individuals who want to engage or re engage with their community.

Evidence that this criterion is met could include:
  • documenting that consumers are participating in all aspects of service planning, development and implementation (more information on consumer participation is available from standard 3)
  • documenting links with mainstream community organisations (such as sporting, recreational and social clubs, community arts centres) facilities (gyms, swimming pools, recreation centres) and educational and vocational services (schools TAFEs and universities, employers and employment support providers) to support recovery
  • documenting that the service provider has actively encouraged and supported consumers to become advocates (more information on advocacy is available from standard 1 and standard 3)
  • providing information to consumers in an understandable format about how they are protected by disability and mental health legislation.

Positive connections - social, family and friends (criterion 10.1.7)

Reconnection with the community should be viewed as fundamental to recovery and a primary goal of service providers. Service providers should support and encourage consumers to develop and re-establish appropriate connections with family, friends and community support networks.

Service providers should always consider opportunities for the consumer to engage, as a step in their recovery, not only with other mental health or specialist services, but with mainstream community organisations such as sporting and recreational clubs, schools, TAFE colleges and universities and community arts centres.

Service providers should work collaboratively with consumers to develop and review goals for re-connecting with the community. The service provider culture should value and foster the use of peer-support and consumer self-help.

Evidence that this criterion is met could include:
  • documenting engagement with families, carers and friends
  • documenting collaborative relationships with specialist and mainstream community organisations for the benefit of individual consumers
  • consumers accessing mainstream services as part of their recovery
  • educating staff and consumer and carer advocates about the range of support networks available in the community, such as local community and volunteer groups, faith communities and educational institutions. Top of page

Participation of consumers (criterion 10.1.8)

This criterion is covered by the guidelines in Standard 3 Consumer and carer participation.

Community services and resources (criterion 10.1.9)

Service providers should have knowledge of the roles and services of a wide range of community services that consumers could utilise to achieve recovery goals.

Evidence that this criterion is met could include:
  • Service providers having a regularly updated resource directory which staff are trained to use.

Carer centred approaches (criterion 10.1.10)

This criterion links to Standard 7 Carers. With the consumer's informed consent, and with consideration of cultural and other social factors, relationships should be encouraged with family, carers, sexual partner, friends, peers, cultural groups and the community because they are important supports to recovery.

Evidence that this criterion is met could include:
  • with the consumer's informed consent, their active involvement in the services they receive
  • educating carers about the relevant mental health condition
  • training for consumers, carers and families in communication and problem solving skills
  • providing carer counselling and ongoing support or referral to a carer support service
  • providing services and support to children of parents with a mental illness
  • a documented process through which carers are involved when a consumer withholds or withdraws consent to their involvement
  • referrals to applicable support and self help groups.
Policies and procedures to demonstrate compliance with standard 10.1 will include, but not necessarily be limited to, those that address:
  • carer rights and responsibilities and how they are conveyed to staff, volunteers, consumers and carers
  • what information is provided to carers and how it is provided
  • how carers are involved, and the structures and activities that facilitate their involvement at the individual, organisational and systemic levels
  • links with local and regional carer support services, including specialist groups such as those for children of parents with a mental illness or culturally specific carer support groups, and how those links are established and maintained
  • confidentiality provisions, and the management of situations in which the wishes and needs of a consumer conflict with the wishes and needs of their carer
  • arrangements for the resolution of carer complaints and disputes.