Recovery is the focus of mental health strategies internationally. However, little translation of recovery knowledge has occurred in mental health services. The purpose of this research is to bridge the gap between recovery guidelines and practice by developing a new implementation strategy involving the formation of implementation teams made up of different stakeholders (service users, service providers, managers, knowledge users) and facilitating a 12-meeting implementation planning process. Sevenmental health organizations across Canada successfully completed the process of translating the guidelines into a recovery-oriented innovation that was implemented. Fifty-five implementation team members were interviewed upon completion of the 12-meeting process. Findings indicate that implementation team members perceived the structured planning process as positive. Nevertheless, the language of implementation science remains difficult to understand for a non-academic audience. Key elements of the 12-meeting process included the value of consensus building among implementation team members and the subsequent shifting power relationships. While working with diverse stakeholders came with certain challenges, the process in itself was a form of system transformation. This type of engaged planning process was a significant departure from the more top-down approaches to organizational change that staff were used to.
Keywords: Implementation science; Implementation strategies; Implementation teams; Knowledge translation; Mental Illness; Recovery guidelines.
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