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New guide to promote engagement with patients and family members

We believe that meaningful engagement is about making patients and families our partners in every aspect of care, in every setting, by every staff member, every day.
BCMHSUS has released the Patient and Family Engagement Framework to guide staff working with patients, clients and families to plan, deliver, and evaluate healthcare services and research.
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​The framework covers a variety of topics, including how we define patient and family engagement at BCMHSUS, why it is needed for exceptional care and research, the Spectrum of Engagement and how it is applied in our specialized settings, and practical steps for putting the framework into action.

"Including clients and families as part of our team is a no brainer to me. It means we have more experience and perspective at the table, and that means we'll come up with better ideas faster and make better decisions," says Becky Hynes, Social Work Professional Practice Lead at Heartwood Centre for Women. "Mental health and substance use are complex health and social issues and we cannot begin to address them without the people who are living them."

By putting the framework into action, health professionals can work together with patients and families to co-design a wide range of initiatives, including:

  1. New and existing programs and services
  2. Site and organizational policies
  3. Research projects
  4. Health literacy projects
  5. Individual patient/client care plans
  6. Staff interview panels and new hire orientations

"Being a patient partner has allowed me to transform my experiences into opportunities to engage and improve the healthcare system," says Anita, a patient who participated on the hiring panels for BCMSHSUS leadership positions. "Working with BCMHSUS on their hiring committee was an amazing experience since my voice contributed to developing a team the works with patient and community engagement. The hiring panel team was welcoming and allowed me the space to express my point of view. I felt heard, respected and valued."

Over the next few months, BCMHSUS will be releasing a series of Engagement Playbooks, which are toolkits to help staff apply a variety of engagement techniques with our diverse populations.

To read the framework, email

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