Working with Time To Change to build on positive practice in mental health services

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

NHS England has worked with Time To Change, England’s biggest programme to challenge mental health stigma and discrimination, to develop and fund a project which aims to better understand the dynamics of relationships between people who use services and NHS professionals. Insight from research, focus groups and individual interviews, demonstrated that a high number of people using mental health services felt they experienced stigma and discrimination.

This insight helped Time To Change to work with mental health professionals and service users to identify examples of good practice as well as the barriers which can sometimes stand in the way of positive interactions. The resulting training pack focuses on the positive changes which can improve both team culture and working practices.

The training builds on a successful pilot scheme launched in October 2015 by Time To Change in conjunction with the 2gether NHS Foundation Trust and the Northumberland, Tyne and Wear NHS Foundation Trust. Now all mental health trusts are being invited to take up the tools to deliver the training in their organisations.

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 and it’s fantastic that Time to Change is working in partnership with NHS England to spread that message far and wide.

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. Don’t leave it to others because reducing stigma and improving care is everybody’s responsibility.”