Restorative Practice in Mental Health

Connecting members interested in restorative practice within mental health


A restorative mental health trust or service is one that is committed to develop and implement best practise restorative ways of working in providing services to patients, victims, staff, family and carers and the wider community. Restorative practises can involve face-to-face final meetings between the harmer and harmed, interventions to support with patient on patient conflict, patient on staff conflict, engagement with victims of offenders with mental health problems, developmental disorders and intellectual disabilities. Restorative practises can involve staff on staff conflict, restorative focused courses that support patients in their recovery journey and restorative ways of working with families and carers to rebuild relationships. This is achieved through, training, raising awareness and developing bespoke interventions to meet specific needs relating to those that each trust is serving.

Currently there are a number of trusts primarily in the south east of England who are developing restorative practises in bespoke ways within their different services. There is a developing interest from mental health trusts in the north and the west of England too to explore restorative practise in their trust.

Mental health services who work restoratively find that relationships are stronger, there is a significant reduction in violence on the wards, victims are engaged in the service more meaningfully and all aspects of the service engage with conflict and broken relationships in a different way. Restorative practise can complement and positively contribute to the therapeutic journey of the patients.

Restorative practises enable those who have been harmed to convey the impact of the harm to those responsible, and for those responsible to acknowledge this impact and take steps to put it right. It refers to a range of methods and strategies which can be used both to prevent relationship-damaging incidents from happening and to resolve them if they do happen. Restorative approaches are value-based and needs-led and can be seen as part of a broader ethos or culture that identifies strong, mutually respectful relationships and a cohesive community. This forms the foundations on which good mental health services for all can flourish.

Becoming a restorative mental health service has many benefits, including increased benefits to recovery for patients, reduction in violence, promoting meaningful support for those involved in assaults to find positive ways forward, engaging victims in a more restorative way and challenging stigma and associated misunderstandings around restorative justice and mental health. It can also alleviate problems such as repeat acts of violence, non-compliance with regimes and recovery plans, antisocial behaviour, fractured relationships within families and with members of staff.

This network will connect like-minded individuals in order to develop and grow this area of practise.

Network Aims for 2021

  • To provide a space for practitioners to connect, share and develop practice
  • To raise awareness of the benefits for embedding restorative practice within mental health settings
  • To develop an implementation guide which interprets how to use the RJC's Practice Guidance within mental health settings

Network Benefits

  • Opportunities to connect with like minded individuals
  • Quarterly online / face-to-face network meetings
  • Opportunities to participate in working groups to develop sector specific guidance and resources
  • Invitations to sector specific events, seminars, webinars and CPD opportunities
  • Opportunities to participate in national and international learning events
  • Receive regular network specific newsletters


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