Basset, T. (2015), "Editorial", The Journal of Mental Health Training, Education and Practice, Vol. 10 No. 1. https://doi.org/10.1108/JMHTEP-12-2014-0042
Emerald Group Publishing Limited
Article Type: Editorial From: The Journal of Mental Health Training, Education and Practice, Volume 10, Issue 1.
The British Psychological Society report on understanding psychosis and schizophrenia (BPS, 2014) seeks to broaden perspectives and approaches in relating to and working with people who have what are often described as psychotic experiences. The report highlights, among other things, the importance of self-help, peer support, recovery, collaboration and the therapeutic relationship.
In a similar vein, in this issue of the Journal of Mental Health Training Education and Practice, there is a focus on peer-led self-management, self-help, recovery, collaborative approaches and the therapeutic use of self.
The first two papers in this issue follow on from a previously published paper in this journal about a self-management initiative across Wales (Crepaz-Keay and Cyhlarova 2012). A team of people from the Mental Health Foundation and the Universities of Oxford, Greenwich and the LSE have followed this up with papers that evaluate the intervention.
Eva Cyhlarova and colleagues write about the peer-led self-management training, which was delivered across Wales, by the Mental Health Foundation and Bipolar UK to over 250 people with severe psychiatric diagnoses. Data were collected at baseline and after six and 12 months following from the training with significant improvements being found in both well-being and health-promoting lifestyle activities. The authors acknowledge that their work is just a first step and that further work is needed, with the addition of a control group, to further investigate the effectiveness of such interventions.
Valentina Iemmi and colleagues report on the same intervention and examine it from an economic standpoint. They find that after an increase of costs in the short term, costs seem to decrease, but not significantly, in the longer term. Echoing the findings of Cyhlarova's paper, they make a plea for more resources for research in this important area.
These papers illustrate the importance of the strong independent sector in the UK. I would like to congratulate the Mental Health Foundation and their colleagues in Higher Education. They have taken the first steps in evaluating an important intervention. Others will, no doubt, follow.
In the third paper of this issue Bianca Dos Santos and Vanessa Beavan from the Australian College of Applied Psychology also take an innovative step in exploring the experiences of members of three Hearing Voices Network support groups in New South Wales. Their findings show both the value of the group experience and improvements for group members in their social interaction outside of the group. This is only a small-scale piece of work and the authors flag up the need for further research on a larger scale.
In 2013, Griffiths and a colleague (Larsen and Griffiths 2013) reported on a third sector alternative to hospital admission and looked at the impact of admission to a crisis house in terms of recovery and the achievements of service users in relation to their personal goals. Griffiths and other colleagues from Rethink Mental Illness follow this up by reporting on goal achievement data at service entry and exit points at four sites in England. Their outcome evaluation indicates the potential positive effect of such a service. They recommend a randomised control trial of this transition intervention service.
Elizabeth McCay and colleagues from Toronto examine a collaborative partnership between the Faculty of Community Services at Ryerson University and the Centre for Addiction and Mental Health. This collaboration focuses on linking research closely to practice in client-centred care. Collaboration is a theme that links all the papers in this issue. It is encouraging that people are able to cross-traditional boundaries and work together for improvements in how mental health services are delivered.
In the final paper, Bronwen Williams, a mental health trainer and educator, working in an NHS Foundation Trust in Gloucester, England, writes about enhancing teaching relationships through the therapeutic use of self. Mental health educators can and do use the therapeutic skills from their clinical work when interacting with learners in the classroom. Indeed, learners should expect those people, whose role is to educate and train them, to have an ability to create an overall positive learning environment, in addition to their knowledge of a subject and specific teaching skills.
British Psychological Society (2014), Understanding Psychosis and Schizophrenia, BPS, Leicester
Crepaz-Keay, D. and Cyhlarova, E. (2012), “A new self-management intervention for people with severe psychiatric diagnoses”, Journal of Mental Health Training Education and Practice, Vol. 7 No. 2, pp. 89-93
Larsen, J. and Griffiths, C. (2013), “Supporting recovery in a third sector alternative to psychiatric hospital admission: evaluation of routinely collected outcome data”, Journal of Mental Health Training Education and Practice, Vol. 8 No. 3, pp. 116-25