The literature is mostly silent on how to achieve identification, however there is plenty of evidence to support the activities that flow from identification. Existing literature focuses on the problems associated with implementing these processes. One can assume the resistance that exists in current practice relates to implementation of activities that flow from identification. Therefore it appears necessary to address impediments to implementation of existing policies if the issue of identification is to be addressed.
In summary the literature identifies that a substantial commitment is required from all stakeholders across the mental health system in years to come if the widespread current poor practices in identification and support of carers are to be rectified. Improvements in practice depend on the following:
- Clear policy guidance and service delivery protocols.
- Improved knowledge and training regarding confidentiality.
- Routine identification of carers preferably by consumer consent via Advance Directive or relapse prevention plans.
- A cultural shift within mental health services, including a change in attitude towards identification and working with carers.
- A process for addressing practical constraints that restrict professional involvement with carers within services.
- Increase in carer mental health literacy via access to specifically tailored information packs.
- Carers self identifying and becoming pro–active in the development of effective relationships with professionals.