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Guidance to reduce stigma in mental health services

Training pack available to all mental health trusts

Jo Carlowe

Thursday, 25 February 2016

A new training pack has been launched today to help reduce the stigma and discrimination experienced by people when using mental health services.

Time to Change, the mental health anti-stigma campaign, in partnership with NHS England, has worked with mental health professionals and people using services to develop new training materials, which will be available to all mental health Trusts in England.

The initiative is in response to research, which shows that despite positive changes in attitudes towards people with mental health problems in some areas of life one in three people report stigma and discrimination when they use mental health services. 

Time to Change, run by the charities Mind and Rethink Mental Illness, developed the training pack specifically to encourage open dialogue amongst mental health teams about the positive changes that they can make to improve their culture and practice – both in secure and community settings. 

Sue Baker, Director of Time to Change, said: “Despite making significant headway in improving general public attitudes towards mental illness, people using mental health services continue to report having experienced discrimination within services and other parts of the NHS. However, we also know that there are some positive examples of delivering care and it’s these that we want to encapsulate and share with other Trusts to show what can be done to improve services and make a big difference to people’s recovery. By partnering with NHS England we are able to ensure that a wider pool of Trusts across the country will be able to make use of the training and ensure that people using services have an improved experience when they visit their healthcare setting.”

Joanne McDonnell, Senior Nurse for Mental Health and Learning Disabilities at NHS England, said: “It’s really important that everyone working in the NHS creates the most positive experience possible for service users …Research from this campaign has shown that even small individual actions we can all make, like keeping eye contact or taking a few extra minutes with someone, can change an interaction and improve the experience and life of someone with a mental health problem.”  

The training pack focuses on the positive changes that can improve team culture and working practices. 

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