Putting us first:
personalisation in mental health services
Putting us First was a project focused on direct payments and individual budgets for people who use mental health services. It was a joint project between Mind and the Norah Fry Research Centre, University of Bristol, that ran from October 2008 to March 2010.
Mind published three resources as part of Putting us First's initial phase. They have been funded by the Department of Health and were launched at the Putting us First conference.
The Government wants more people who use support services to have 'choice and control' in their lives. That is why they have introduced direct payments and individual budgets. But people with mental health support needs are often left out. We want them to have an equal chance.
Mind was awarded funding from the Department of Health. The aim of this project was to make sure more people with mental health support needs get a chance to use individual budgets and direct payments. To do this, we:
- reviewed research, projects and other information about direct payments for people who use mental health services
- met people who have used mental health services to find out their views about how direct payments could help them
- found out what resources about direct payments for people with mental health support needs are already out there, and designed new resources
- set up and supported four projects from July 2009 – March 2010, to spread the word about direct payments and make sure things change.
We also worked with the Health and Social Care Advisory Service, the University of Central Lancashire and the Southampton Centre for Independent Living.
We know that people have used direct payments for lots of exciting things, like:
- setting up a business
- paying someone for support at a club
- relaxing activities like fishing
- getting a support worker to help look after their children.
We hope that more people with mental health support needs will have the chance to do things like this with direct payments and individual budgets. With this in mind, produced resources aimed at service users and a guide to direct payments and individual budgets, which have been published by Mind. We also organised training for professionals.
As a result of the project, we hope that many more people with mental health support needs will benefit from direct payments and individual budgets, and enjoy having more control over their own lives.