Citation Forbat L (2006) Practitioner views on service users involvement in mental health: rhetoric and contradictions. Journal of Mental Health Workforce Development, 1 (3), pp. 24-31. http://www.scie-socialcareonline.org.uk/profile.asp?guid=07167d47-02f6-4e41-a1b5-d0c50d92bbb9
Abstract This paper reports on a small pilot study exploring ways that staff providing mental health services experience change. Focus groups were held with multi-disciplinary team workers in mental health services (one on the sought coast and the other in the north west of England). The focus groups included: nurses, a Chaplin, manager, psychologist and social worker. Group discussion focused on the drive towards service user involvement in mental health services. Discussions were held with two teams of professionals and indicate that mental health professionals experience a tension in balancing service user involvement with other dimensions of their roles and identities. Key issues include: staff as potential, or past, service users themselves; service user involvement as a challenge to professional identities; change being inherently difficult within 'stuck' systems; and change having an emotional, as well as instrumental, effects. Implications for practitioners in engaging with the involvement agenda are discussed, and highlight key issues for workforce training.
Keywords attitudes; mental health services; nurses; social workers; staff; user participation
Journal Journal of Mental Health Workforce Development: Volume 1, Issue 3