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Community-Based Services and Resources: The Significance of Choice and Diversity
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In order to understand the role of self-help and other consumer-run approaches in community support of persons with severe mental illness, we must appreciate the importance of (a) consumer choice and (b) diversity of service alternatives within consumer-run options. These issues are discussed in relation to the significance of self-selection in consumer-run services and the role of consumer-run approaches as adjuncts or alternatives to professional services. It is argued that our efforts to provide community services can be enhanced by (a) supporting diversity of service and resource options, both inside and outside of the professional mental health system; (b) developing services that are responsive to individuals needs as they define them; and (c) facilitating the process of consumer choice in selecting resource options. (Author)
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A program of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services Substance Abuse & Mental Health Services Administration, Center for Mental Health Services