Reform of Belgian mental health care system for children and adolescents

Belgian Health Care Knowledge Center

In 2011 the Belgian federal government asked the Belgian Health Care Knowledge Center (KCE) to come up with proposals to reform the Belgian mental health services that cater specifically for children and adolescents. Up to that point most of the efforts to streamline mental health services had focused on the adult sector.

shiftN was contracted by KCE to carry out a participatory research study with the aim to develop proposals for reform of the mental health care system for children and adolescents. We used a ‘soft systems’ inspired approach to diagnose the key friction points in the existing system and to develop a conceptual model of an idealised children and adolescent mental health care system. A gap analysis resulted in a set of 10 recommendations for reform.

Around 50 key actors in the Belgian mental health care system were involved in a series of face-to-face interviews, roundtable discussions and technical workshops.

The whole process was finished against an extremely challenging timeline with the project window extending over a mere 7 months (July 2011-January 2012).

shiftN’s project team consisted of Philippe Vandenbroeck, Kim Becher and Rachel Dechenne. The core team was supported by Beth Stroul, one of the architects of the very influential System of Care approach in the US.

Stafford Beer's short book 'Designing Freedom' remains as fresh and relevant as ever. Our review here:……

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