Recovery for all in the community; position paper on principles and key elements of community-based mental health care

Rene Keet*, Marjonneke de Vetten-Mc Mahon, Laura Shields-Zeeman, Torleif Ruud, Jaap van Weeghel, Michiel Bahler, Cornelis L. Mulder, Catherine van Zelst, Billy Murphy, Koen Westen, Chris Nas, Ionela Petrea, Guido Pieters

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

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BackgroundService providers throughout Europe have identified the need to define how high-quality community-based mental health care looks to organize their own services and to inform governments, commissioners and funders. In 2016, representatives of mental health care service providers, networks, umbrella organizations and knowledge institutes in Europe came together to establish the European Community Mental Health Services Provider (EUCOMS) Network. This network developed a shared vision on the principles and key elements of community mental health care in different contexts. The result is a comprehensive consensus paper, of which this position paper is an outline.With this paper the network wants to contribute to the discussion on how to improve structures in mental healthcare, and to narrow the gap between evidence, policy and practice in Europe.Main textThe development of the consensus paper started with an expert workshop in April 2016. An assigned writing group representing the workshop participants built upon the outcomes of this meeting and developed the consensus paper with the input from 100 European counterparts through two additional work groups, and two structured feedback rounds via email.High quality community-based mental health care: 1) protects human rights; 2) has a public health focus; 3) supports service users in their recovery journey; 4) makes use of effective interventions based on evidence and client goals; 5) promotes a wide network of support in the community and; 6) makes use of peer expertise in service design and delivery. Each principle is illustrated with good practices from European service providers that are members of the EUCOMS Network.ConclusionsDiscussion among EUCOMS network members resulted in a blueprint for a regional model of integrated mental health care based upon six principles.

Original languageEnglish
Article number174
Number of pages11
JournalBMC Psychiatry
Publication statusPublished - 10 Jun 2019


  • Community-based mental health care
  • Position paper
  • Mental health system
  • Principles

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