DOMAIN Community participation and citizenship
This domain relates to people's social and community life. In recognising the importance of social engagement and community participation to mental health and wellbeing, mental health services have a role in supporting people to engage in social and vocational networks and communities of their choosing. While it is not possible for mental health services to ensure that people are adequately included in all social and community networks outside the mental health care setting, mental health professionals can practice in ways that encourage people in their social endeavours and support people to access opportunities in the community.
People with lived experience of mental illness are capable of making meaningful social contributions, regardless of the presence or absence of symptoms of mental illness.
Positive relationships, meaningful opportunities and community engagement are important elements of recovery.
Stigmatising attitudes towards people with lived experience of mental illness adversely impact on their mental health, recovery and wellbeing.
Mental health services actively promote people's social and community participation.
Mental health professionals
- Support people's relationships and social networks.
- Be aware of the cultural, social and historical factors that limit people's access to resources and opportunities.
- Develop awareness of mainstream community resources and incorporate them into practice whenever possible.
- Network and build partnerships with non-mental-health service providers to ensure that people have the best opportunity to participate in their communities.
- Make every effort to support and facilitate access to the community (for example, driving someone somewhere, making phone calls, arranging first contact for someone).
- Develop a thorough understanding of evidence-based approaches, such as education and employment support, social skills training and family psycho-education, which can help support people's community participation.
- Work constructively with peer support workers towards people's recovery goals.
- Facilitate and support peer support processes and ensure peer support workers have adequate resources.
- Recognise the importance of, and encourage opportunities for, social enterprises.
- Ensure the organisation supports people to access mainstream services.
- Systematically establish relationships with community organisations and networks to create pathways for people and to build the capacity of organisations to work with people accessing mental health services.
- Actively support people to access opportunities (for example, offer to make initial phone calls, arrange initial contact).
- Explore innovative options to meet people's needs and wishes.