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Keane, Martin (2014) Effective team-working in mental health services. Drugnet Ireland, Issue 51, Autumn 2014, p. 25.

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Twomey and colleagues1 undertook a brief and selective review to identify how effective team-working can be achieved within Community Mental Health Teams (CMHTs), in the context of recovery-focused care. They reviewed relevant Irish policy documents and other papers available within the Irish context. 

The review is contextualised within a number of recent policy pronouncements from the Mental Health Commission, the Department of Health and the Health Service Executive, which have called on practitioners to implement recovery-focused care in mental health services in order to empower service users to take control of their own recovery. Central to this approach is the understanding that service users will outline their needs to service providers and the latter will work to implement an effective response to these needs and identify and implement additional supports when appropriate. The authors undertook the review based on the belief that effective team-working within CMHTs is an integral part of delivering recovery-focused care. 

The authors identify four factors which they suggest need to be considered when seeking to provide an effective team-working group: team development, team environment, team structure and team process (see Table 1). They see these factors as evolving over time.

1 Twomey C, Byrne M and Leahy T (2014) Steps towards effective team-working in Community Mental Health Teams. Irish Journal of Psychological Medicine 31 (1): 51–59. https://www.drugsandalcohol.ie/21419/

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