“It has to go much, much deeper than that”: coproduction for recovery

Building on the work we have done around Hope for Better Mental Health, Essex has been exploring the potential to join up across mental health and substance misuse, to commission recovery focused support with coproduction at its heart. In pursuit of this, Emily and Ben – the lead commissioners for mental health, & public health and wellbeing  – asked us to help them engage a broad group of providers, to start a brand new conversation about what might be possible. Critically, we had service users with us in the room from the off.

“The actual coproduction IS part of the recovery process for service users. It’s not an add-on: ‘Well, we’ve got a couple of service users we’ve brought in, and we’ve given them a bit of training, and we can now tick that box to say we are working with them‘. It has to go much, much deeper than that.”

“It’s a new way of working; it’s really risky for a provider that’s used to having responsibility for taking care of people, to step back, and say ‘we trust you to know what’s best.”

The challenge is high, but so is the ambition and energy, as captured in this little film made by our wonderful partner Ed at Postcode.

Commissioning for Recovery in Mental Health and Substance Misuse from ThePublicOffice on Vimeo.

Ruth Kennedy