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Self-Directed Support and Mental Health

Planning for a self-directed support service was developed and produced by Action in Mind as part of a three year project entitled Self-Directed Support in Mental Health: Capacity-building for third sector mental health service providers. It was led by the Mental Health Foundation, in partnership with the Scottish Mental Health Co-operative, and funded by Scottish Government.


The focus of the main project was to increase knowledge and understanding of self-directed support (SDS) as it applies to mental health from both a service user and service provider perspective and to obtain a good overview of how self-directed support is being implemented across Scotland by local authorities.


Self-directed support legislation places statutory requirements on local authorities to implement self-directed support from referral, assessment and care planning through to back office systems and processes. In addition, local authorities must oversee monitoring processes to ensure that service providers are fit for purpose and deliver in full compliance of self-directed support principles. In itself, this latter point does not or should not present major difficulties for local service providers for whom the personalisation approach is not new but rather a confirming statement of their established practice. However, local service providers may be confronted with new and challenging areas around operational management, not least assessing their financial viability and operational capability to move towards delivering self-directed support as a long term, sustainable enterprise.


This publication offers a baseline for local service providers planning the transition of services to a self-directed support model or to develop a new service altogether. It is not a definitive statement of what must be considered and included when planning for a local self-directed support service, but rather a guide to what might be considered helpful to start the process off.


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