Administration and Policy in Mental Health and Mental Health Services Research

, Volume 24, Issue 5, pp 425-434

First online:

Consumer empowerment in mental health organizations: Concept, benefits, and impediments

  • Mark S. SalzerAffiliated withCenter for Mental Health Policy, Vanderbilt University

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This article proposes a framework for promoting consumer empowerment in mental health organizations. Consumer empowerment involves consumer participation in organizational decision-making, program development and evaluation, access to resources, and opportunities for consumers to develop and run services as well as to maintain personal dignity and integrity. The benefits include increased service innovation, responsiveness to changes in the market place, accountability, as well as the enhancement of quality of care, the protection of consumer rights, among others.