mental health in Flanders

Reframing the Flemish mental health care system


'Sharing knowledge and mutual expectations during the Reframing process was very inspiring and clarifying to me. Learning from each other and divergent perspectives is uniquely fascinating.' - Inge Vervotte, stakeholder team

Reframing mental health

How to prepare the Flemish mental health care system for the challenges of tomorrow? Zorgnet-Icuro, a broad network of care-related organizations in Flanders (Belgium), acknowledged the necessity to prepare itself for the society of tomorrow. Reframing Studio helped them to reframe the context of mental-health, well-being and care of Flanders in 2026. We created a vision that looks beyond illness and explores future behaviour of people in (or in prevention of) vulnerable situations. The result is a framework that covers the variety of future behavior in Belgian society in 2026, and an innovation mission that will form the basis of development of existing and future interventions in the broad domain of mental health in Flanders.
(Mental) health and well-being are under pressure in a rapidly changing society, where continuous adjustments are needed to keep up with constant changes. Responding to current matters demands continual time and energy which impedes us to anticipate on what is coming.

Zorgnet-Icuro took the initiative to organize the ‘Open Minds’ congress on mental health in Flanders to start a broad discussion on questions like ‘What direction do we want the system to move? How can we prepare optimally for what is coming? And how can we innovate in a durable way?’

In the preparation of the ‘Open Minds’ congress, Zorgnet-Icuro asked Reframing Studio to develop a long-term vision on the context of mental health care and well-being in Flanders in 2026 together with a broad stakeholder group representing various health-related domains (e.g. education, health, housing, well-being).
Using the Reframing method, we combined interviews with domain experts, literature, and workshops with stakeholders, resulting in a vision on future behaviour of people in Flanders in 2026. The stakeholder group formulated an innovation mission in reaction to this vision: to change, affirm, or discourage these behaviors. Intervention concepts were developed, matching the innovation mission, to illustrate the possibilities of action for the mental health care system.

One of the intervention concepts, named 'Regizel', was prototyped and tested in a pilot research. Regizel intends to stimulate people in vulnerable situations to feel more confident in reaching personal progress by experiencing mastery, management and control. For the pilot, Regizel was designed in the shape of a personal binder, helping the user to formulate concrete goals towards their desired role in society, and supporting them to work towards these personal goals in feasible, micro steps.

The pilot was executed within several 'Beschut Wonen' centers; sheltered accommodations for people in transition from psychiatric care to living independently. The sixteen participants and their supervisors tested the intervention over a period of six weeks. Afterwards, they both evaluated the process and product. 

'Working with Regizel made me look forward to my future again and feel more positive in general too. It has been a stimulance to break the daily grind. I take more initiative now. I won't avoid difficulties anymore, but find a way to solve them.' - pilot research

‘I was surprised by the interest and motivation of my client. Contrary to his normally passive attitude, I now noticed a man who was determined to reach his goals. How a small binder can elicit such great steps amazes me.’ – pilot research

Health and Science
Project kick-off: 
September 2015
Project delivered: 
June 2016
Product Design
Framework Development
Project size: 
Project developers: 
Emilie Tromp
Lotte Jacobse
Matthijs van Dijk
Sophie Dirven
Social innovation
Health and science
User testing
Design research
Innovation strategy
Product design
Policy design
© Reframing Studio