Wednesday, 14 July 2010

Discussing Mainstream

Bridge building for mainstream is now incorporated into the care pathway for people recovering from mental health conditions.

Community mental health teams, occupational therapies, psychiatrists are all aware of the value of mainstream bridge building. Many community mental health teams actively promote mainstream as part of their in-house practice with clients. Service-user led initiatives are also widely encouraged.

Where mental health teams may not always the time and resources to promote mainstream fully, there are many outside organisations working alongside the teams. The benefits of referral to an outside non-clinical team can be considerable.

Mental health teams can often discuss mainstream with clients in a clinical or home setting. An outside organisation has more time and capacity to draw clients out into mainstream settings where a conversation can begin. This may well be and should be - a conversation about the client's hopes, dreams, goals and aspirations.

One of the bridge builder's roles is to help facilitate this conversation. Another role is to be clued-in with what mainstream has to offer. For example, a bridge builder specialising in arts and culture needs to know what outlets there are both locally and further afield. A client who wishes to develop skills in music production should be introduced to the mainstream venue or venues where this opportunity takes place.

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