Carers said, we did

17/06/2016 by Amy Gaskin-Williams

The most common issue raised by carers is that they excluded from the care of their loved one, that they don’t receive enough information (or not quickly enough) and that they are not involved as much as they could/should be.

In our Adult Mental Health Services, staff have tried to address this issue by increasing the take up of Behavioural Family Therapy (BFT) and Open Dialogue training.

Behavioural Family Therapy typically involves sharing information with the service user and their family about the service user’s mental health issues, experience and treatment. The family also complete work on recognising early signs of relapse and develop a clear staying well plan. BFT promotes positive communication, problem solving skills and stress management within the family. The needs of all family members are addressed, and each family member is encouraged to identify and work towards clear personal goals.

Open dialogue involves working with families and social networks, as much as possible in their own homes, to help those involved in a crisis situation to be together and to engage in dialogue.

Both techniques encourage a more holistic approach to coping with mental illness, which take into account the needs of the full family and the circumstances that surround the service user. They both encourage advance planning, to help everyone manage better when someone’s health deteriorates. They aim to build resilience within families, and improve care in the community.