A covenant between mental health services and family carers

Rowe, John (2012). A covenant between mental health services and family carers. Mental Health Practice, 16(2) pp. 22–23.

URL: http://www.mentalhealthpractice.co.uk

Abstract

The author proposes the drawing up of a covenant between mental health services and family carers, based on mutual obligations in addition to obligations to service users. Much of the relationship between families and services puts the interests of service users and providers ahead of those of family carers. A covenant, it is argued, would help clarify what professionals expect of carers through improved engagement and relationships. Good faith and fair dealing are crucial to this work. The good faith of family carers is demonstrated when they get involved in their care, help with recovery plans and accept that they do not need to know everything about their relatives. Mental health services would reciprocate through fair dealing, being empathetic, promoting engagement and co-operative relationships, and recognising the difficulties that might arise for these families.

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