Understanding consumer participation in mental health: issues of power and change

Bennetts, Wanda, Cross, Wendy and Bloomer, Melissa 2011, Understanding consumer participation in mental health: issues of power and change, International journal of mental health nursing, vol. 20, no. 3, pp. 155-164, doi: 10.1111/j.1447-0349.2010.00719.x.

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Title Understanding consumer participation in mental health: issues of power and change
Author(s) Bennetts, Wanda
Cross, Wendy
Bloomer, MelissaORCID iD for Bloomer, Melissa orcid.org/0000-0003-1170-3951
Journal name International journal of mental health nursing
Volume number 20
Issue number 3
Start page 155
End page 164
Total pages 10
Publisher Wiley
Place of publication London, Eng.
Publication date 2011-06
ISSN 1445-8330
Keyword(s) consumer consultant
consumer participation
mental health care
change
Summary Consumer participation occurs in all Victorian public mental health services. Area mental health services employ consumer consultants to enhance consumer participation across the network. Ongoing support of management is essential to the success of consumer participation. This project aimed to explore understandings of consumer participation from a manager's perspective. Semistructured interviews were conducted with seven participants in this qualitative, interpretive study. The thematic analysis revealed the complexities around defining consumer participation and demonstrated the difficulties and possible reasons as to why there is no real clarity between managers, service providers, and consumers as to what consumer participation should look like. Power and change were the primary themes. Power and the overwhelming consensus that the medical model and those working within it hold the most power was strongly represented in this study. Legislation and workplace settings were seen as considerable factors adding to the disempowerment of consumers within an already disempowering mental health system. Change was the other main theme that emerged, with culture and attitudes of the old ‘institutionalized’ thinking that still pervades some pockets of mental health services being seen as the major barriers to change. The role of the consumer consultant was a prominent subtheme, with their role in training and the education of workers seen as an essential and positive way to progress consumer participation. These findings demonstrate that managers consider there to be hope for consumers, brought about by collective action and lobbying, and through consumer participation in less-restrictive parts of the service (community settings).
Language eng
DOI 10.1111/j.1447-0349.2010.00719.x
Field of Research 1110 Nursing
1117 Public Health And Health Services
1701 Psychology
111005 Mental Health Nursing
Socio Economic Objective 920210 Nursing
HERDC Research category C1.1 Refereed article in a scholarly journal
ERA Research output type C Journal article
Copyright notice ©2011, Wiley
Persistent URL http://hdl.handle.net/10536/DRO/DU:30081916

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