Increase Consumers' Role in System Reform

By Bernstein, Robert | Behavioral Healthcare, August 2007 | Go to article overview

Increase Consumers' Role in System Reform


Bernstein, Robert, Behavioral Healthcare


Although consumers have a larger role than ever before, their role is still relatively limited

The immediate response by the media and the public to the tragedy at Virginia Tech, predictably, reinforced the stereotv pe equating mental illness with violent behavior, producing the usual calls for increased legal intervention in the lives of people with mental illnesses. But as t hefacts emerged, they blunted these alarmist demands. It turned out that the shooter had indeed been ordered into treatment. The fact that he never received it-that the community mental health agency responsible lor providing the judicially mandated services reported receiving no referral from the court-illustrates the real problem: a woelully deficient service (non) system, u !ideista I ted, underfunded, and unconnected among its elements.

In recent years, such incidents have led to the enactment of mandatory treatment laws, such as Kendra's Law in New York State. To their credit, Virginia policy makers are taking a broader look at the complex world of public mental healthcare. Some legislators are arguing lor greatly increased menial health lunding, and a commission originally formed to consider the need for expanded outpatient commitment is now exploring overall system reform.

As the Virginia commission and bodies in other states undertake such examinations, newly empowered consumers of mental health services are seeking an influential role in the process. That such a notion often is regarded as revolutionary defies common sense. After all, who better to define the goals of system reform than those for whom it is to be achieved?

It is important to recognize the irony when systems ostensibly dedicated to mentit/ health belatedly and grudgingly begin to accept consumer inclusion. In the parallel world of physical healthcare, consumer empowerment is a good new business model, encouraging, for instance, a healthy lifestyle or .1 sense ol shared responsibil itv lor skyrocketing medical costs. Certainly, these aims can apply to mental health reform, but here the meaning ni empowerment runs deepei and carries a longer history. Influence over one's world lias long been considered a core element ol healthy psychological functioning. Accordingly, in mental health elides, con sumer empowerment should stand not only as an approach to prudent service delivery, but also as an important clinical hallmark.

This is still far from reality in current reform efforts. Notwithstanding prominent stau ments on state mental health agencies' Web sites professing commitment to consumer self-determination and policy directives for "consumer-centered" approaches, practices that dismiss consumer empowerment remain widespread. Tor instance, coercive tactics often enable providers to deal with consumers expediently, rather than therapeutically. And there is a strong push toward injecting "evidence-based" practices into mental healthcare. This is not in itsell a bad thing, but the preponderance of inquiry in mental health reflects a pharmaceutical, rather than consumerist, mind-set. …

The rest of this article is only available to active members of Questia

Sign up now for a free, 1-day trial and receive full access to:

  • Questia's entire collection
  • Automatic bibliography creation
  • More helpful research tools like notes, citations, and highlights
  • Ad-free environment

Already a member? Log in now.

Notes for this article

Add a new note
If you are trying to select text to create highlights or citations, remember that you must now click or tap on the first word, and then click or tap on the last word.
One moment ...
Default project is now your active project.
Project items

Items saved from this article

This article has been saved
Highlights (0)
Some of your highlights are legacy items.

Highlights saved before July 30, 2012 will not be displayed on their respective source pages.

You can easily re-create the highlights by opening the book page or article, selecting the text, and clicking “Highlight.”

Citations (0)
Some of your citations are legacy items.

Any citation created before July 30, 2012 will labeled as a “Cited page.” New citations will be saved as cited passages, pages or articles.

We also added the ability to view new citations from your projects or the book or article where you created them.

Notes (0)
Bookmarks (0)

You have no saved items from this article

Project items include:
  • Saved book/article
  • Highlights
  • Quotes/citations
  • Notes
  • Bookmarks
Notes
Cite this article

Cited article

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Sign up now to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

(Einhorn, 1992, p. 25)

(Einhorn 25)

1

1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

Cited article

Increase Consumers' Role in System Reform
Settings

Settings

Typeface
Text size Smaller Larger Reset View mode
Search within

Search within this article

Look up

Look up a word

  • Dictionary
  • Thesaurus
Please submit a word or phrase above.
Print this page

Print this page

Why can't I print more than one page at a time?

Full screen

matching results for page

Cited passage

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Sign up now to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

"Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn, 1992, p. 25).

"Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn 25)

"Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences."1

1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

Cited passage

Welcome to the new Questia Reader

The Questia Reader has been updated to provide you with an even better online reading experience.  It is now 100% Responsive, which means you can read our books and articles on any sized device you wish.  All of your favorite tools like notes, highlights, and citations are still here, but the way you select text has been updated to be easier to use, especially on touchscreen devices.  Here's how:

1. Click or tap the first word you want to select.
2. Click or tap the last word you want to select.

OK, got it!

Thanks for trying Questia!

Please continue trying out our research tools, but please note, full functionality is available only to our active members.

Your work will be lost once you leave this Web page.

For full access in an ad-free environment, sign up now for a FREE, 1-day trial.

Already a member? Log in now.