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The implementation of a personalized approach in mental health

Following a review of the best practices in mental health, Sébastien Carrier, a researcher in the School of Social Work at Université de Sherbrooke, concluded that care and services in this field would benefit from greater personalization.

The interactive digital platform Baromètre offers a new approach to mental health support.

With his team, he developed an interactive digital platform, Baromètre, which offers a new approach to mental health support, giving people who benefit from it more control over their recovery program. The tool has three objectives: the joint development of the intervention by professional staff and users; the integration of professional experience in mental health with clients' experiential knowledge, and the evaluation of the intervention's impact on clients. In order to measure the benefits of the implementation of this tool in practice settings in public and community institutions, the researcher conducted interviews with about twenty practitioners and about thirty beneficiaries.

The results show that it is not easy to integrate this new approach into existing practices. The initiative encounters resistance to change and, sometimes, leadership problems. In some cases, the project is driven by individual managers, but if they leave their position, the exercise comes to a halt. In other cases, it is left up to staff to implement the platform. The project often enjoys an initial wave of popularity before being abandoned by practitioners who reflexively revert to their traditional approach.

Sébastien Carrier therefore maintains that it is not enough to simply present Baromètre to health professionals: staff and managers must be closely supported to help them understand this new tool and develop strategies to use it properly in accordance with their individual situation.

The work of Baromètre is part of the activities of the Institut universitaire de première ligne en santé et services sociaux of CIUSSS Estrie CHUS.