The Mental Health Commission of New South Wales hosted a Recovery into Practice forum on Wednesday 27 November 2013, which explored how recovery principles can be incorporated into the practice of mental healthcare and support.
For people who experience mental illness, recovery is about finding and maintaining hope, re-establishing a positive identity, building a meaningful life and taking responsibility and control.
The one-day forum featured international guest speaker John Jenkins who has worked in community mental health development in the UK for 45 years and was a pioneer of mental health reform in England. John, current President of the International Mental Health Collaborating Network, and his UK colleagues, John Stacey and Paul Baker, provided examples of international best recovery practice and agendas for change.
Mr Jenkins said “The concept of the recovery approach for service users is founded in human values. It requires a shift in thinking from pathology and illness to self determination, life stories and human strength”.
Facilitator, Leanne Craze gave an insightful presentation on the national framework for recovery oriented mental health services in terms of policy and practitioners. Delegates also heard from Deputy Commissioner Robyn Shields on ‘What’s important for Aboriginal people’, Associate Professor Beth Kotzé on ‘What’s important for young people’ and Dr Roderick McKay on ‘What’s important for older people’.
NSW Mental Health Commissioner John Feneley said “The forum was a great chance to get together with key stakeholders, and address the importance of recovery oriented practice at the core of all service provision”.