Pathfinding, Peace-making, Power, and Passion: Exploring the learned and lived experience of facilitation during implementation of Canada’s Mental Health Recovery guidelines

Session Type
Oral presentation
Engaging stakeholders and building partnerships
Piat M1, Melville-Richards L2, Rivest M3, Graham I4, Albert H3, Casey R5, Sofouli E6, Singh K6, Vasko S7
1McGill University, Montreal, Canada
2Bangor University, UK
3Universite de Moncton, Canada
4University of Ottawa, Canada
5Douglas College, Canada
6McGill University, Canada
7York University, Canada

Background:We build upon a 5-year project to improve the adoption of Canada’s mental health recovery guidelines through the development of the Walk the Talk Toolkit, a co-produced publicly accessible online resource for facilitators generated as an output of earlier work by Piat et al. (2021).
Objectives:Our aim is to explore how facilitation is experienced by mixed teams of stakeholders working together to implement recovery-based interventions. A key objective is to embed the learned and lived experience of stakeholders within the Walk the Talk Toolkit, (, enhancing its appeal, uptake, and inclusivity.
Methods:This qualitative study investigates facilitation as an active and ongoing process. Interviews were conducted with 40 stakeholders across seven housing organisations delivering mental health services, including residents, staff, and facilitators. These focused on how the experience of facilitation could be improved from each participant’s perspective, at different stages of planning, implementation, and coaching. Thematic analysis is planned to reveal what is important to stakeholders during facilitation, and how this can be used to improve the outcomes of future implementation efforts.
Results:The provision of a safe space for stakeholders in recovery to participate in implementation is necessary. Expertise, conviction, cultural competence, and a nurturing approach are valued facilitator attributes. Coaching has mixed impact, whilst external facilitation is favoured. Establishing parity, striking the ‘sweet spot’ between formal and flexible, resilience, and maintaining momentum are shared themes across all sites. The language of implementation science remains challenging for the uninitiated.
Conclusions:Findings underline the importance of meaningful engagement with all stakeholders when co-producing toolkits for implementation. Facilitators require a range of traits and skills to successfully instigate and sustain engagement. Establishing shared ownership during the ongoing coaching stage increases uptake and impact of recovery-oriented interventions.
Patient, public and/or healthcare consumer involvement:Further findings-driven development of toolkits co-produced with equity deserving communities to improve cultural inclusivity is planned. A scaling up and rolling out to enable wider implementation of recovery guidelines is anticipated, broadening the potential for international adaptation and adoption of the Walk the Talk Toolkit across health and social care.