Implementation guidelines for private office based mental health practices

10.1 Supporting recovery

Page last updated: October 2010

The MHS incorporates recovery principles into service delivery, culture and practice providing consumers with access and referral to a range of programs that will support sustainable recovery.

Suggested evidence


The intent of this Standard is to ensure that mental health services (MHS) facilitate the recovery journey for consumers by assisting consumers to achieve wellness, rather than just treating the illness.

Recovery oriented culture and practices (Criterion 10.1.1)

In recovery-oriented services recovery values are reflected in the organisation, administration and staffing. Examples include:
  • a mission statement identifying recovery processes and outcomes
  • policy statements and guidelines providing recovery-based principles for service delivery
  • quality improvement that is developed, implemented and monitored collaboratively with consumers and carers
  • staff selection, training and supervision according to recovery values and with consumer and carer involvement across all phases of care.
Principles of recovery oriented practice include:
  • uniqueness of the Individual
  • real choices
  • attitudes and rights
  • dignity and respect
  • partnership and communication
  • evaluating recovery.

Dignity and respect (Criterion 10.1.2)

Every individual has worth and is deserving of respect, dignity and effective care. A focus on the consumer's recovery and participation in their own care can facilitate this. Top of page

Recognition and support (Criterion 10.1.3)

In a recovery model the aim is to have consumers assume responsibility for themselves. This can be achieved by instilling hope, re-establishing a positive identity and self esteem, healing, empowerment, and connection through the implementation of the principles of human rights, providing a positive culture of healing, and recovery-oriented services. Responsibility for self can be achieved by supporting the consumer to:
  • develop their own goals
  • work with other health care providers, carers, family and friends, to make plans for reaching these goals
  • take on decision-making tasks
  • engage in self care.
The MHS should provide consumers and their carers simple and easy to understand information and education on:
  • the consumer's condition including how to care for themselves after they exit the service
  • how to follow the treatment, care and recovery plan and achieve the expected results
  • improving and maintaining the consumer's overall health and wellbeing
  • peer based support programs and services that promote recovery
  • appropriate inpatient activity programs.

Self (Criteria 10.1.4, 10.1.6)

MHS can help their consumers develop independence and regain self-direction, understanding and control of their illness through:
  • advance care directives and treatment, care and recovery plans
  • helping consumers develop connections with communities
  • establishing relationships with community organisations beyond the mental health service system
  • establishing policy and procedures that allow consumers opportunity for choice and control
  • educating staff about special interest groups and community activities for consumers.
Top of page

Social inclusion and citizenship (Criterion 10.1.5)

Examples of strategies that MHS can employ to advocate for the rights of individuals with mental illness to social inclusion and citizenship include but are not limited to:
  • asking consumers about what worked and what didn't work for them in their own recovery, including how the treatment, care and recovery plans supported or hindered their progress

  • encouraging and supporting consumers to participate in all aspects of service planning, development and implementation (further information on consumer participation is available from Standard 3 Consumer and carer participation)

  • encouraging and supporting consumers to become advocates (further information on advocacy is available from Standard 1 Rights and responsibilities and Standard 3 Consumer and carer participation)

  • providing information to consumers in an understandable format about how they are protected by disability and mental health legislation.

Positive connections—social, family and friends (Criterion 10.1.7)

Re-connection to the community should be viewed as a primary goal of the MHS and reflected in the MHS mission statement. The MHS should support and encourage consumers to develop and/or re-establish appropriate connections with family, friends and community support networks.

The MHS should work collaboratively with consumers to develop and review the consumer's goals for re-connecting with the community.

The culture of the MHS should value and foster the use of peer-support and consumer self-help.

Education should be provided to staff and consumer/carer advocates about the range of support networks that are available in the community such as local civic and volunteer groups, faith communities and educational institutions.

Participation of consumers (Criterion 10.1.8)

This criterion is covered by the guidelines in Standard 3 Consumer and carer participation. Top of page

Community services and resources (Criterion 10.1.9)

Examples of community services that mental health services should have knowledge of and support consumers to use include:
  • drug and alcohol services
  • youth services
  • housing
  • employment
  • Centrelink
  • aged care services
  • health promotion/public health
  • local government
  • churches and religious groups
  • educational institutions
  • Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander groups
  • multicultural groups
  • early childhood services
  • volunteer groups.

Carer centered approaches (Criteria 10.1.10)

Carer centered approaches may include:
  • involvement in treatment and support
  • carer education regarding the relevant mental illness
  • training in family communication and problem solving skills
  • carer counselling and ongoing support
  • support for children of parents with a mental illness
  • contact with relevant support/self help groups.
Relationships with family, carers, sexual partner, friends, peers, cultural groups and the community are encouraged. Top of page

Suggested evidence

Evidence that may be provided for this standard includes:
  • organisational mission statement
  • information and education provided to consumers and carers
  • links with other service providers
  • consumer and carer satisfaction surveys
  • treatment, care and recovery plans
  • consumer and carer interviews
  • evidence of access to consumer run groups
  • evidence of referrals to recovery support programs
  • evidence of follow-up
  • policies and procedures:
    • principles for service delivery
    • staff selection
    • training and supervision
    • working with carers
    • education program
    • referral process
    • consumer and carer support systems.