Mental Health Service Users Want More Choice Of Treatment And Support

Mental health service users want more choices about the care they receive and better support to help them make those choices, according to research published by the Sainsbury Centre for Mental Health and the King’s Fund. Choice in Mental Health Care finds that mental health and learning disability service users would like more opportunities to choose between different treatment, care and support options. They want to be involved in care planning, to have the option of direct payments and to be consulted about changes to local services.

Choice in Mental Health Care is based upon research with mental health service users and their carers. It found that some get more choices than others but that most do not get enough information to make informed treatment choices.

Lesley Warner, co-author of the report, said: “People who use mental health services clearly want more choice about the treatment they get. They want to choose between different kinds of treatment and to have the option of talking therapies or different kinds of medication. Such choices are an important starting point to help people to recovery.”

Simon Lawton-Smith, King’s Fund mental health fellow, said: “Choice is one of the government’s big drivers in reforming the NHS. We need to ensure that the benefits that genuinely informed choice can bring are available to people who use mental health services. Most people with a mental disorder can make decisions for themselves but very often they are offered little or no choice about their care and treatment.”