, Volume 40, Issue 4, pp 281-295

Measuring Community Preferences for Public Mental Health Services: Pilot Test of a Mail Survey Method

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This study tested the feasibility of a simple mail survey approach to measuring community preferences for mental health services. A 38 item survey detected statistically significant differences in preferences for four central goals, finding that community members most value Focus on the Severely Mentally III, followed by Community Safety and Environment, Service Quality and Original Community Mental Health Goals. Some procedural problems were encountered that reduced the response rates, however, the study yielded information that suggests improved procedures for future surveys. Simple mail surveys appear to offer a potentially affordable, efficient way to assess community service priorities.