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User/consumer involvement in mental health service delivery

Published online by Cambridge University Press:  11 October 2011

Judi Chamberlin
Affiliation:
Director of Education and Training, National Empowerment Center, Lawrence, Massachusetts (USA)
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Summary

The involvement of mental health service users in service delivery is a new and growing phenomenon. Such involvement is complex, given the history of paternalism in the mental health system, the power differential between service providers and service users, and the very differing views each group holds on multiple issues. Unless such differences are addressed, there can be no meaningful involvement. Service user involvement needs to apply to all aspects of the service delivery system, including professional training, service design, delivery, evaluation, and research. User/survivors, and their organizations, have developed a body of experience and knowledge that needs to be recognized and respected. Unless there are multiple opportunities for ongoing and open dialogue on these many difficult issues, real user involvement will not occur.

Declaration of Interest: the author has received no financial support that presents a conflict of interest.

Type
Inclusion and Mental Health in the New Europe
Copyright
Copyright © Cambridge University Press 2005

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References

American Psychiatric Association (1994). Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders, 4th ed. APA: Washington, DC.Google Scholar
Chamberlin, J. (1978). On Our Own: Patient-Controlled Alternatives to the Mental Health System. Hawthorn Books: New York.Google Scholar
Peterson, D. (Ed.) (1982). A Mad People's History of Madness. University of Pittsburgh Press: Pittsburgh.Google Scholar
World Health Organization (1979). Schizophrenia: an International Follow-up Study. JohnWiley: New York.Google Scholar

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