Service users’ right to be involved in decisions concerning their health and quality of life is not only an ethical issue, but also a key aspect for the efficiency and effectiveness of services in modern health systems. Through co-production, service users have an equal partner position in a comprehensive process that includes services design, provision and evaluation. The co-production model is not a new concept but an emerging idea for health services and in particular mental health services. This model is governed by basic principles and values, such as recognizing individuals as active and equal participants with valuable experiences, taking advantage of existing opportunities, sharing and mutual understanding, peer support, tackling discrimination, and facilitation instead of just services provision. Τhe benefits are many and important, both for users (i.e. enhancing trust in services, reducing stigma), and for health professionals and settings (i.e., extroversion and dissemination, increasing needs understanding, changing professionals’ attitudes, more efficient use of resources). However, there are limitations which should be considered when co-production is implemented. Regarding co-production, the literature is relatively limited; while there is a plethora of publications on the concepts related to co-production and its principles (e.g., empowerment, advocacy, recovery, etc.). The adoption of the co-production approach in Greece could benefit significantly the mental health services, within the psychiatric reform by establishing an equal relationship between professionals and service users. 

KEYWORDS: Co-production, mental health, service users, mental health professionals.

Evanthia Sakellari, Konstantinos Tsoukas, Gerasimos Kolaitis, Areti Lagiou


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