WHO Good Practice

WHO Good Practice

An illustration of the Earth in an orange circle

The WHO report

In June 2021 the World Health Organisation released their new report 'Guidance and technical packages on community mental health services: Promoting person-centred and rights based approaches.'

We are proud to be one of the services included!

An illustration of the Earth in an orange circle

Guidance, technical package and executive summary.


The guidance

Association of Mental Health Providers webinar

About KeyRing



The WHO guidance

The World Health Organisation say that "Human rights violations in mental health-care services are still far too common in countries of all income levels. Examples include forced admission and forced treatment; manual, physical and chemical restraint; physical, verbal, psychological and sexual abuse; and unsanitary living conditions."

The aim of their new report is to "inform people responsible for the provision of mental health care at all levels... of the benefits of community mental health services that are respectful of human rights and focused on recovery."

Their guidance makes several recommendations including scaling up community based mental health services that promote person-centred, recovery-orientated and rights-based health services.

It promotes the creation of mental health services that operate without coercion or abuse, that are responsive to people's needs and respect their decisions about their treatment, support recovery and promote autonomy and inclusion, as well as involving people with lived experience in the development, delivery and monitoring of services. They should also facilitate access to support with housing, education, professional opportunities, and relationships with family members.

They then go on to share information about 28 good practice services across the world. We are one of those services!

Download an introduction to the WHO's findings.

Download the Supported Living Services section of the report.

See the full guidance and technical packages.

Download a plain English summary of the report.

A diagram showing that KeyRing can save LAs £400,000 per year


Saving money and delivering impact: "In many cases the good practice, rights-based, community-based mental health services showcased in the WHO guidance and technical packages are cheaper to implement and have good or better outcomes than comparable mainstream services."

For more information about KeyRing please contact Claire Gleeson: claire.gleeson@keyring.org - 07813 988 564

AMHP webinar

On 1st July we co-hosted a webinar with the Association of Mental Health Providers. Dr Michelle Funk from the World Health Organization introduced the session and we heard from 6 of the organisations featured in the WHO report, including KeyRing.

The other services included were:

Home Again, India

Nairobi Mind Empowerment Support Group

Tupu Ake, New Zealand

Soteria, Switzerland

Afiya House, USA


Watch a recording of the webinar.


Text: "Community Based Mental Health Services: promoting rights and recovery globally. Thursday 1 July - 12:30 - 14:00 (BST)" There are the country flags of the organisations in the webinar that are listed in the text.

About KeyRing

Find Out More

As one of the services that feature, KeyRing focus on smashing barriers to wellbeing and independence through connection, flexible support and skill-building.

KeyRing say: "People are the key to changing their own lives and it is our role to support them on this journey. They become part of a network of support. Each network supports a group of individuals to live independently within an ordinary community. They secure and maintain their own accommodation as well as build the skills they need to move to the next stage of independence."

Peer support is key to the success of the network. Everyone who joins a KeyRing network has skills and experience to offer their fellow network Members. They also become engaged their local community, benefitting from and contributing to the resources in it.

This multi-layered approach to support allows us to be flexible and encourage people to see beyond support services.

The KeyRing map, showing how people in the community are connected


Les* is a very sociable Member who has plenty of friends. He has complex learning disabilities but was building his independence and connections. Les was loving life.

However, when lockdown prevented him from socialising, it hit him hard.

*name changed to protect identity.


As one of our Community Living Volunteers Tony offers a wealth of expertise to the people he supports. His own experience is the bedrock of this.

As a care leaver, Tony moved into supported living where he learnt independent living skills for 8 years. Tony says he has mild learning disabilities and suffers anxiety that is rooted in traumatic childhood experiences.

The first time that Tony had lived alone was as a Member of a KeyRing network. ‘KeyRing talked through my past experiences with me and how they affected me now.... they helped me to get involved in different things.’

As well as his volunteer experience, Tony has had several jobs. He says he is getting better at identifying his anxiety and is working to find a job that is right for him.

"Without KeyRing I would probably be on the street by now. I was struggling with debts and KeyRing helped me to sensible with my money. I have lots of friends both inside and outside of KeyRing. When I first joined KeyRing, I didn’t know anyone."

A photo of a man giving a thumbs up. Text: "Expert by Experience. Anthony joined  KeyRing as a Member. He has since become a Community Living Volunteer."


Dina* is a caring and supportive friend.

Illustration of a woman with long hair, wearing a yellow top

Dina was referred to KeyRing through the local Mental Health team.

She has been diagnosed with paranoid schizophrenia and has bouts of depression that can affect her ability to maintain her independence. She also has significant physical health problems.

Dina had been living in a mental health forensic unit for more than 20 years before moving to an independent living arrangement with no support.

When she joined KeyRing, her mum had just passed away. Dina had multiple debts and inconsistent and unmanageable payment plans. We supported her to call to arrange payment plans that made sense and to fight some of her fines.

Shortly after becoming a Member, Dina was already getting her life back on track. However, when a close friend was diagnosed as having terminal cancer we spoke with her and flexed her support package up. This enabled her to maintain control over her life even when her friend moved in and subsequently passed away.

We connected her with bereavement support services as well as palliative care arrangements for her friend.

It is still only three months into Dina’s journey with KeyRing and so much has already happened. Dina is almost at a position where we she is ready to connect with other people in the KeyRing network.

*name changed to protect identity.


Saduh* is working hard to get his life back on track.

Smiling man

Saduh has fluctuating mental health needs and had been receiving support from KeyRing to live independently. He had a part time job working as a caretaker and a girlfriend.

When Saduh’s relationship broke down, he turned to drugs and alcohol. This led to him losing his job and neglecting his bills.

KeyRing worked with Saduh throughout this period. Despite his refusal to accept support and his tendency to refuse our calls, we persisted. We connected with his aunt so that we knew where Saduh was and could help him when he was ready.

After several months of disengagement, Saduh contacted KeyRing and admitted that he had a drug and alcohol problem.

We engaged him with a local drug and alcohol support service and support groups. Saduh had become associated with a group of men who forced him to steal to fund his habit. We helped him to break those connections. We also supported him with his finances and letters which he had neglected.

Saduh’s journey continues to be bumpy and he has relapsed several times. However, he continues to engage with KeyRing and is making progress.

*name changed to protect identity.


Paul* is bright, enthusiastic and very resourceful. Paul was recently released from prison without suitable support back into the community. His lifestyle was chaotic and involved making himself known to paramedics, police and local services. He has a diagnosis of schizophrenia and would claim that his medication wasn't working. He would fabricate stories and threaten suicide. Paul was asking for help but there was no joined up approach to providing it.

When Paul came to KeyRing we advocated for his right to support. We supported Paul to be open and honest about his goals and aspirations as well as his fears and needs.

He told us about his frustrations with his current situation. His relationship with his ex was abusive. He had a gambling addiction and was unable to budget as a result. He was lonely and angry.

Our first step was to request a multi-disciplinary approach where everyone communicated with each other. We highlighted a joint approach which made clear what Paul could do for himself. This helped prevent other agencies from disempowering him.

There were calls for Paul to move to supported living but we knew that with the right interventions, Paul could achieve his aspiration of living independently.


Paul has weekly organised visits from a PCSO. He no longer calls the police several times per day.

He calls the paramedics less often. When he does they know to calm the situation without sending a vehicle every time.

We call Paul every morning and every evening as well as seeing him every day. We have been clear in setting boundaries and expectations with Paul.

We have worked with him to build healthy relationships including putting systems in place to prevent his ex-partner from harming him both physically and mentally.

Paul is keen to build relationships with others in his network. We know that his gambling addiction means he is prone to ‘borrow’ money so we are ensuring that introductions are carefully planned.

Paul is much happier and leading a less chaotic life.

A diagram showing Paul's circumstances


A diagram showing Paul's progress

Here at KeyRing we use cookies to:
- improve our website performance;
- help you share our content across your social media networks; and
- personalise our advertisements to you.

To accept our cookies please click the button below, or for further details and the chance to specify your cookie preferences please click ‘more information’.

You can change your preferences at any time by visiting the “Cookies Preferences” page, which can be found via our footer. View our Privacy and Cookies policies for full details.