During 2008 to 2010, Recovery Devon went through a lengthy process to identify and promote our priorities for development in the local mental health services.

We are happy to see that many of the priorities that we identified then are now (May 2014) becoming part of mainstream provision within mental health services.

They will be kept under review, but the descriptions below hopefully provide a flavour of the process we went through in deciding upon them.

The process began in 2008, following visits to Devon by two leaders within the Recovery movement, Mary O’Hagan and Mike Slade.

Visits by Mary O’Hagan and Mike Slade

In June and July 2008, Devon and Torbay were visited by Mary O’Hagan, former Mental Health Commissioner and architect of New Zealand’s commitment to recovery, and Mike Slade, Reader in Health Services Research at the Institute of Psychiatry and Consultant Clinical Psychologist in South London, who had been on a tour of recovery sites around the English-speaking world. Mary and Mike looked at how Devon and Torbay were progressing towards recovery oriented mental health services.

Their reports are available here:
‘Adult Mental Health Services in Devon – A High Level Recovery Assessment’, Mary O’Hagan
‘Reflections on Devon Experience’, Mike Slade

Their visits are also described in Laurie Davidson’s Recovery Devon newsletters of the time:
Newsletter, Summer 2008
Newsletter, Winter 2008
Newsletter, Spring 2009

Recovery Devon’s Response

Through the course of 2009, Recovery Devon held a series of meetings and events to consider these reports and to set our priorities for the development of local mental health services.

These included Day Workshops on 6th March, 8th July and 8th October. As these meetings progressed, a number of discussion documents were produced.

Following the July workshop, six main topics were identified for further consideration:
Topics 1 to 6 from July Workshop, 2009

Our six priorities were:

  1. Crisis Response, Inpatient Provision and Community Alternatives to Admission
  2. Risk Assessment, Risk Taking and Safety Planning
  3. Workforce Culture
  4. Promotion of Wellbeing and Strength Based Approaches
  5. Stigma, Discrimination and Language
  6. Support from Peers, and Staff Support in Assisting Recovery

These were then presented to the October workshop and further responses gathered:

Recovery Devon Workshop, 8th October 2009

At this meeting, the commissioner for mental health services in Devon asked Recovery Devon to suggest three priority areas for development locally. Discussion to identify these continued at a meeting on 6th November.

Setting Our Three Main Priorities

At our meeting on 18th January 2010, Recovery Devon decided that the three main priority areas we would like to see further developed locally are:

  • Peer Support
  • Personal Recovery Plans
  • Acute Care Provision – alternatives to hospital and improving support for moving back into the community

These were explained further in this document:

Recovery Devon – Three Priorities – May 2010