MH41 Empower people with mental health needs to represent their views and organise their own support, assistance or action


This standard is about encouraging and supporting individuals to represent their own views and organise their own support, assistance or action related to accessing and utilising networks within the community.

At the centre of the standard is the right of people with mental health needs to full social inclusion and the standard covers the role that service providers can play in facilitating this, empowering and enabling people with mental health needs to participate to the extent that they wish.

This standard applies to those who work to promote the social inclusion of people with mental health needs within mainstream communities.

Users of this standard will need to ensure that practice reflects up to date information and policies.

Version No 1

Knowledge and Understanding

You will need to know and understand:

  1. factors affecting people’s needs and/or abilities to organise support, assistance and to take direct action
  2. factors which influence people’s self-image and their willingness and interest in interacting with others
  3. the types of support and assistance which people may need at different times and in different contexts and how to access these
  4. sources of information on networks and mainstream provision
  5. what sorts of information people may need, how it is to be used and how confidentiality can be maintained
  6. the assumptions and oppressions which surround different groups (such as sexism, ageism, heterosexism, discrimination against those with mental health problems, learning disabilities and physical disabilities) and the problems of stigmatisation
  7. why it is important for you and others to value difference and promote tolerance
  8. how to challenge assumptions in a constructive way that raises awareness and understanding
  9. the forms which discrimination may take, the behaviours which may be expressions of these and how they may differ between different groups and in different settings
  10. the possible effects of stereotyping, stigmatisation, prejudice and labelling on people
  11. the causes of unequal access to mainstream provision and ways of resolving these
  12. factors which may exclude people from provision and how to deal with these
  13. what constitutes discrimination, both direct and indirect
  14. your own values, beliefs and attitudes, and how they could impact on your work
  15. why it is important to challenge discrimination and oppressive behaviour
  16. how to challenge discrimination within and through your organisation’s structures and outside of these
  17. causes of discrimination and harassment
  18. procedures for recording and reporting discriminatory practices and incidents
  19. why it is important to follow actions taken through to completion and your role and that of others in ensuring this happens
  20. the principles and values of recovery
  21. current relevant legislation in relation to discrimination, and how to access it

Performance Criteria

You must be able to do the following:

  1. seek out and create opportunities for people to express their views and requirements for support, assistance or action
  2. facilitate people in identifying and expressing their views and requirements
  3. act in non-discriminatory ways which respect diversity
  4. support people in obtaining relevant information to enable them to organise their own support, assistance or action
  5. empower people in making arrangements for support, assistance and in taking action
  6. if appropriate, accurately record people’s expressed views and requirements to ensure their particular needs and preferences are addressed

Additional Information

This National Occupational Standard was developed by Skills for Health.

This standard links with the following dimension within the NHS Knowledge and Skills Framework (October 2004):

Dimension: HWB4 Enablement to address health and wellbeing needs
MH41 Empower people with mental health needs to represent their views and organise their own support, assistance or action
Final version approved June 2010 © copyright Skills For Health
For competence management tools visit tools.skillsforhealth.org.uk