The Journal of Mental Health Training, Education and Practice

ISSN: 1755-6228

Article publication date: 30 March 2012



(2012), "Editorial", The Journal of Mental Health Training, Education and Practice, Vol. 7 No. 1. https://doi.org/10.1108/jmhtep.2012.55507aaa.001



Emerald Group Publishing Limited

Copyright © 2012, Emerald Group Publishing Limited


Article Type: Editorial From: The Journal of Mental Health Training, Education and Practice, Volume 7, Issue 1

The papers included in this edition of the Journal of Mental Health Training, Education and Practice represents these three areas of focus, respectively, and are diverse in nature.

In a recent publication, I discuss the importance of a biopsychosocial approach to mental health care delivery as synonymous with the recovery model of mental health that puts services users at the very centre of their care (Bailey, 2012). Fox and Ramon (2010) explore a new meaning of the concept of “recovery” which hinges upon a collaborative relationship between service users and professionals that builds on service users strengths. How this relationship is experienced will depend to a significant degree on the training and professional background of the professionals involved.

Interestingly, the first two papers in this edition focus on the topic of prescribed medication, and explore the attitudes of professionals to prescribing practice. Perhaps not surprisingly Cooke et al. report that differences in perceptions of the use of medication for treating bipolar disorder differs between professional groups. Psychiatrists as compared with other disciplinary colleagues have lower concerns about the potential adverse effects of medication and a stronger belief in the need for medication to treat bipolar symptoms.

Besenius et al.’s paper highlights, however, that a considerable amount of prescribing practice is based upon assumptions and the experience of service users is that they do not always know why they are being prescribed a particular treatment and do not always understand the information pertaining to its effects. Quite worryingly the type of medication, dose and mode of administration is inconsistent between clinicians and depends on the individual prescriber. This suggests the need for education and training that highlights the importance of reflecting on one’s practice and engaging with service users to actively review their experience and understanding.

Gillespie and Redivo’s paper illustrates that not only does practice differ between disciplines; the very nature of practice is influenced by where it is conduced. Their account offers an international perspective on the satisfaction of mental health clinicians working in rural versus urban areas of British Columbia Canada. The findings highlight that practitioners working in small rural communities lack, but are in significant need of support for their role.

Gilbert and Stickley explore the experiences of social work and nursing students of mental distress and how this impacts upon their practice. While Evans et al. introduce a practice engagement framework as a way of exploring the types of clinical activity mental health nurse academics engage in.

Taken together these papers provide support for the need for practitioners to be given training and development opportunities to reflect on their experiences and supported in the way they work collaboratively with service users to achieve recovery, as well as with each other.


Bailey, D. (2012), Interdisciplinary Working in Mental Health: From Theory to Practice, Palgrave Macmillan, Basingstoke

Fox, J. and Ramon, S. (2010), “Recovery: bringing service users in”, Social Work and Social Sciences Review, Vol. 14, pp. 74–85

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