Redesigning Psychiatry is an innovation network aimed at redesigning the mental healthcare system for the 21th century. The project rethinks the core concept of what a mental illness is, while at the same time developing a system that better addresses the grand challenges we face as a society. The wide ranging program combines interview and desktop research with systems thinking, reflective design practices, intense stakeholder collaboration and the testing of new solutions.
Femke de Boer
Matthijs van Dijk
David van den Berg
Prof. Gerrit Glas
and many others
Redesigning Psychiatry vision (in Dutch)
The Dutch mental health care system yearly serves almost a million citizens. Increased employment rates and improved levels of happiness of the Dutch population repay the investment in the system. Still, many improvements could be made. The mental health care system has a long history and evolved into a complex system. It is currently facing economic and demographic challenges, while its basic paradigms on diagnostics (e.g. DSM5) and treatment (e.g. too much focus on symptom reduction) are debated. Our society, in which the system operates, is changing rapidly and many mental health care organizations struggle to survive.
The situation we are facing also brings opportunities. There is a felt sense that we can improve our mental health care system and a sense of urgency among organizations to ensure their meaningfulness in the future. The new technologies and media that are transforming our social environment also offer new possibilities for smarter care solutions. Yet so far, innovations in e-health hardly ever move beyond translations of existing practices to digital applications. It is difficult for mental health care experts to look beyond the current characteristics and boundaries of the system. Moreover, a shared vision for the future is lacking.
In the first two years of its existence, Redesigning Psychiatry (RP) has focused its attention on creating a vision on the role of mental care in both our society as a whole and in people’s daily lives. Key of this frame is the hypothesis that mental health problems are best characterized as interaction problems instead of individual disorders: they rise in interactions. In these interactions patterns or vicious cycles can arise. In that case, we talk of ‘problem-sustaining-interaction patterns (psi-patterns)’. This implies that, instead of focusing on disorders, we suggest to focus on the development and characteristics of psi-patterns –that can only be partly understood by biological and psychological factors and require inclusion of economic, cultural, organisational and even societal factors to be completely understood.
Based on this new frame we are working on a wide range of interventions. From mental gymnastics at primary schools to a podcast platform for adolescents and from new visions on healthcare facilities to new procedures for diagnostics. We also organize a yearly summerschool where we teach health care professionals the basic principles of reframing and the Redesigning Psychiatry foundations.