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13 - Improving mental health services

Published online by Cambridge University Press:  26 August 2022

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It is likely that those planning, managing or commissioning mental health services will be able to create changes that make them more effective for people seeking asylum. There are some recurrent themes in publications about what changes are needed. However, priorities are different in different situations and from different perspectives. One approach to choosing how to use limited resources is to consider what guiding principles are most important. We consider the implications of adopting each of six principles: anti-racist and anti-discriminatory practice; ‘first do no harm’; a human rights approach; evidence-based care; using public health principles; working with organisational values. An alternative approach to deciding on what actions to prioritise is to identify specific goals. We discuss what might be done towards the following nine goals: involving people seeking asylum; improving interpreting; removing barriers to access; using training, supervision and support to enable staff to provide good care; working with community groups and other agencies; working to guidelines, standards or checklists; creating alternative services; prevention; making a difference quickly.

Seeking Asylum and Mental Health
A Practical Guide for Professionals
, pp. 253 - 274
Publisher: Cambridge University Press
Print publication year: 2022

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