Finland used to have the worst statistics in Europe for mental health. Until a group of family therapists in Tornio, Lapland, got together and asked how they could do it better. The result was something called Open Dialogue. They claim that 80% of people experiencing a first episode psychosis made a full recovery compared to only 20% in the UK.
Consultant Psychiatrist and author Dr. Russell Razzaque is in the process of introducing Open Dialogue into the NHS. He runs year-long courses for mental health professionals, as well as peers and carers.
Open Dialogue is changing the way we think about people in distress. Instead of asking what’s wrong with a person, the focus is on what has happened to them. The entire social network is included in the treatment by coming together for meetings in which all voices are encouraged to be heard.
Open Dialogue is undergoing clinical trials in the UK. The results, if they prove to be effective, will change mental health services for the better.