About Us

We are dedicated to providing a directory of Positive Practice in MH Services.

Having carried out our first service user focused assessment of a mental health service well over 20 years ago, and having been identifying and sharing positive practice for almost as long. We came to the conclusion many years ago that there is a ‘perfect mental health service’ out there, ‘it’s just not all in one place’. By developing this directory we intend to demonstrate our theory.

We are very careful about the language we use. We don’t, and never have talked about ‘Best Practice’, we don’t even talk of ‘Good Practice’. We have no wish to place anyone under pressure, or set a service up for criticism, which is why we much prefer to speak of ‘Positive Practice’, although we and our team of service reviewers may well believe these services to be of an extremely high standard, we certainly do not advocate for mediocrity as we believe in encouraging excellence.

The unique thing about the services featured in this guide is that they have all been recognized in the National Positive Practice in Mental Health Awards, other Awards celebrations and/or been reviewed by a multi-disciplinary team of judges. We have tried very hard to strike a balance between the quantitative academic evaluation approach and the qualitative, if it feels positive to both the people delivering the service and the people receiving the service, we would consider it to be worth a look.

We are also featuring services deemed to be positive practice examples by the National Collaborating Centre for Mental Health which are featured in the pathways they are developing for NHS England.

We do ensure the services featured in this guide are reviewed on a regular basis. Our reviewers consist of service users, carers, psychiatrists, psychologists, nurses, OT’s, commissioners, social workers managers, chief executives, police and Members of Parliament. We acknowledge no system is perfect, but we like to think we have taken a fair and consistent approach. Please visit our main website www.positivepracticemh.com for a full list of those involved.

We very much hope this directory will assist commissioners and everyone who strives for excellence in delivering mental health services to achieve their goals. We believe it’s a great shame that so much money and resources are put into fault finding, and far too little is available for developing, delivering and sharing Positive Practice, we want to play our our small part in changing this.

This unique directory is our attempt to redress the balance, and we really hope you find it useful.

Tony and Angie Russell   
Breakthrough MH

Founders and Secretariat for the Positive Practice MH Collaborative


Case studies

The examples highlighted have either won or been highly commended in the National Positive Practice in MH Awards, or other recognised Award celebrations, or been judged by a team of multi-disciplinary professionals, service users and carers.

Some are new innovative projects which have not yet undergone evaluation that others have.

We are also featuring examples of practice highlighted in the pathways developed by NCCMH for NHS England.

This site is aimed at commissioners and providers who are looking to provide something different without re-inventing the wheel.

You can use the link below to find case studies, or use the search box on the home page: