National practice standards for the mental health workforce 2013

Standard 2: Working with people, families and carers in recovery-focused ways

Page last updated: November 2013

In working with people and their families and support networks, mental health practitioners support people to become decision-makers in their own care, implementing the principles of recovery-oriented mental health practice.

The mental health practitioner:

  1. Works with people and their families and carers as partners
  2. Engages in practice that reflects that the person exists within a context of family, significant people, community and culture
  3. Applies the principles of self-determination and supports people and their family members and carers in being decision-makers in their recovery processes
  4. Expresses hope and optimism, applying a strengths-based approach and valuing the person’s and their family’s/carer’s knowledge and perspectives
  5. Demonstrates respect for family members’ and carers’ roles, acknowledging diverse family capacities, experiences, value systems and beliefs
  6. Identifies the impact of the person’s mental health needs on their family and carers, including partners, significant others, children, parents and siblings, and supports referrals and interventions to help meet these needs
  7. Engages with families and carers in treatment, care and decision making to the extent possible and supported by the person
  8. Uses language that demonstrates respect for the person, family and carers at all times
  9. Facilitates family and carer involvement, addressing barriers and supporting connections with the person
  10. Identifies the needs of family members and carers in circumstances where the person has chosen to exclude their involvement in his/her treatment and care and supports interventions to meet these needs
  11. Works with family and carers in such a way that they feel heard, informed to the extent possible and supported
  12. Assists people and families and carers to contact appropriate peer advocates and consultants
  13. Encourages feedback on service delivery, policy and planning from people and their families and carers
  14. Facilitates social inclusion, social connectedness and engagement of people in activities that offer meaning, satisfaction and purpose to the person, such as recreation, education and vocation
  15. Provides information in a format that is accessible to educate people, family members and carers on mental health issues and conditions, physical and cormorbid health conditions, mental health services, other support services and self-help organisations