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Best Practice Guidelines for Consumer-Delivered Services

Page history last edited by Susan Fadiga 4 years, 11 months ago
Reviews the evidence for consumer-delivered services as a best practice. Guidelines are based on CDS literature and the MHA of Southeastern Pennsylvania.
TARGET POPULATIONS  Consumer-Delivered Services (CDS) are appropriate for most mental health consumers, regardless of diagnosis or history. Individuals who have become alienated from the more traditional mental health services are important to target as this may be their only connection to the mental health system. Persons with significant interpersonal conduct problems may not be appropriate for drop-in centers. Consumers who are employees and not paid staff must proactively and skillfully address the relatively rare interpersonal and intrapersonal problems that do arise prior to these situations getting out of control.
CDS's are not for everyone and cannot be prescribed. Lack of participation on the part of everyone encouraged to attend CDS should not be perceived as a weakness or indicator of a lack of effectiveness. If a consumer chooses to attend only because it is prescribed, it will undermine how much they will benefit and their potential inclination to participate on their own in the future.
IMPLEMENTATION STEPS  Paths to the successful development and implementation of CDS are as varied as CDS themselves. CDS, especially those where consumers are employees that are also delivered by non-consumers, success is furthered by non-consumer professional involvement, collaboration, and support that appreciate the unique contributions that consumers can make in these programs. Avoid situations and demands that might lead to changes in critical aspects of CDS programs. CDS's that depend too heavily on professional involvement and financing are at risk of losing their unique qualities and benefits. e.g. self-help groups that become overly dependent on professional assistance may encounter diminished commitment from group members to take leadership roles as well as the initiative needed to help the group survive. Communication between and among consumers and non-consumers is critical to prevent changes that diminish the unique qualities of  CDS.
MONITORING OF SIDE EFFECTS, PROGRESS, AND PROBLEMS  Specific programs have their own formal and informal methods for monitoring side effects, progress with goals, and individual problems. Programs where consumers serve as employees (e.g. case management team with consumer-provider) should have formal procedures for monitoring side effects, conducting reviews of participant status and progress, and goal planning. Self-help groups and drop-in centers are not focused on the individual member and do not have individual treatment plans to monitor in a formal way. Informal monitoring can occur individually.
Hiring – recruitment issues. List as “ current and former mental health consumers encouraged to apply.” Training / supervision components. Discuss’ dual relationships, role conflicts and confusion, and confidentiality.


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