Each year the CMHA hosts Canada's Mental Health Week (MHW), bringing attention to a topical conversation related to the current state of mental health in Canada. This year, MHW is catalyzing a discussion about our struggles and triumphs, and our ability to use our words to share how we're feeling, without fear of judgement. As the CMHA is saying, Name It Don't Numb it. We're here for it. Mental health care research advocates for the importance of 'naming it'. What does that mean? It means that we need to provide people who are seeking care with more insight into their own mental health and a better understanding of their symptom change over time so that they can better communicate about their own struggles, triumphs and needs.
As people gain insight into their own mental health, they can better understand their journey and further engage in their care. They are better able to discuss their mental health with family and friends and they can be more aligned, informed and engaged in discussions with their care provider(s). Research shows that Measurement Based Care (MBC) has a positive effect on communication between a client and their mental health provider(s) (Carlier et al. 2012). Another study of 609 people in care found that when a client was measured in treatment, twice as many improved, and at-risk client’s were less likely to report worsening symptoms (Lambert et al. 2001).
Insight into their own treatment data helps to increase engagement and identify and discuss information relevant to their care, which they otherwise may not have shared. It's part of why the movement towards MBC in mental health service delivery is vital, and it's why we'll be here, continuing to build the technology needed for consistent data collection that is clinically useful and improves service quality.
It's challenging to communicate about things we don't understand and we can only innovate when we know what works, and what doesn't. If you ever want to talk about Measurement Based Care, let us know! Stay tuned for more over the next few days.