The Journal of Mental Health Training, Education and Practice

ISSN: 1755-6228

Article publication date: 8 April 2014



Bailey, D. and Wright, T.B.a.N. (2014), "Editorial", The Journal of Mental Health Training, Education and Practice, Vol. 9 No. 1. https://doi.org/10.1108/JMHTEP-11-2013-0036



Emerald Group Publishing Limited


Article Type: Editorial From: The Journal of Mental Health Training, Education and Practice, Volume 9, Issue 1.

The Mental Health Foundation launched its Starting Today report (Mental Health Foundation, 2013) which outlines a vision for mental health care in the future. Cross-disciplinary and inter-professional education and training are seen as vital to underpinning the integration of services. Indeed on page three of Starting Today it states:

There should also be an expansion of continuing cross-boundary inter-professional training and education. All professional bodies should make such training a requirement of continuing professional development for their members.

This stance has always been championed within the Journal of Mental Health Training, Education and Practice and the papers within this issue emphasise this. They all have a cross-boundary feel and we hope they will encourage all stakeholders to continue taking bold steps towards the integration of training and development opportunities for the mental health workforce. In times of austerity and cuts to services, it is easy to withdraw into the familiar world of each profession training their own with little or no reference to other disciplines, with whom they will inevitably work closely in the delivery of mental health services. Whilst uni-professional training is important, as inter-professional training will only work where disciplinary groups are clear about their specific contribution, this approach needs to be built upon to support the development of truly inter-disciplinary care that responds to the diversity of service user needs and promotes recovery (Bailey, 2012).

The first two papers examine the contribution to this agenda from the Recovery Colleges in England. McGregor and colleagues write about the College in Nottingham and illustrate how taking an educational, rather than a therapeutic approach, contributes to the recovery of the students. Courses at the college are open to service users, their families and local mental health staff. Courses are designed and run by people with both professional and lived experience. New relationships are formed. This spirit of co-facilitation and co-production also lies at the heart of the second paper by Meddings and colleagues, as they explore the process of a co-production partnership approach in a Recovery College pilot on the south coast. Their work is an example of good practice in the collaboration of a large NHS Trust with a much smaller local voluntary sector organisation.

Staying with the theme of Recovery, Rinaldi and Watkeys examine whether or not the Care Programme Approach (CPA) is sufficiently recovery orientated. CPA is still the dominant force in care planning in English mental health services, although Wales recently abandoned it in favour of a more holistic and less clinical approach. Care plans under the CPA still seem to focus on illness, problems and risks and do not involve service users, even though they are supposed to do so. Care planning which is linked to Recovery will focus much more on people's strengths, abilities, hopes and aspirations.

The following two papers come from an Australian context. McAllister and colleagues report on an inter-professional learning experience for final year students from a variety of backgrounds such as health promotion, nursing, paramedic science, psychology, social work and occupational therapy. Their results show increased confidence and communication skills, together with a greater understanding of the role of the various professions in a multidisciplinary team.

Patterson, Goulter and Weaver examine training, which involves the simulation of auditory hallucinations, and how this training impacts on the attitudes and practice of mental health workers. They find that workers became more aware of the impact of these hallucinations and were more open to working with voice-hearers to develop management strategies. This training can support patient-centred and recovery-oriented practice.

In the final paper, Smythe and colleagues discuss the development of a competency framework for staff working in a specialist dementia service in Birmingham, England. The framework, with eight main clusters, was developed from a literature review and interviews, questionnaires and focus groups with a variety of staff and family care givers. The framework can be used as a basis for the development of training for staff working with people who have a diagnosis of dementia.

Within current, contemporary mental health care it is necessary that disciplines in mental health retain some separate and distinguishing features, whilst also finding effective ways of sharing that which they have in common. There is much to be gained here through inter-disciplinary and cross-boundary education and training approaches. Crucial to this agenda is the involvement of service users and their families so that these initiatives extend professional learning and education to enhanced learning about disciplinary contributions to mental health in the widest sense, including the contributions from those with lived experience so that we can progress to an even greater understanding.

The emphasis on inter-disciplinary education and training in mental health therefore remains a consistent theme of this journal as mirrored through the composition of our “editor” team. After working tirelessly to contribute to our endeavours from a nursing perspective our valued colleague Peter Ryan has stepped down as an Editor. He will be sorely missed, for his dedication and commitment and for his enthusiastic, thoughtful and amicable approach to his work with us and the many authors he has supported to publish their work through the journal. We would like to take this opportunity to offer a heartfelt thank you to Peter for his contribution.

In order to retain the nursing perspective within our editor team we are pleased to welcome Nicola Wright to the Editorial team and with Thurstine's contribution as Voluntary Sector Editor we look forward to embracing our different disciplinary contributions in the way we take the Journal of Mental Health Training, Education and Practice from strength to strength over the coming months and years.

Di Bailey, Thurstine Basset and Nicola Wright


Bailey, D. (2012), Interdisciplinary Working in Mental Health, Palgrave Macmillan, Basingstoke
Mental Health Foundation (2013), Starting Today: The Future of Mental Health Services, Mental Health Foundation, London

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