Community Mental Health Journal

, Volume 38, Issue 2, pp 95-110

First online:

Beneficence vs. Obligation: Challenges of the Americans with Disabilities Act for Consumer Employment in Mental Health Services

  • Linda E. FrancisAffiliated withSchool of Social Welfare, Health Sciences Center, SUNY
  • , Paul W. Colson
  • , Pamela Mizzi

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Involvement of mental health service consumers in the provision of mental health services is a growing model in community mental health. It is, however, a complicated issue, made ever more so by the passage of the Americans with Disabilities Act. In this ethnographic case study, we seek to explore the changes one social services agency has made to adjust to the requirements of the ADA and the impact of these changes on their consumer employees. Our results indicate potential for positive progress as a result of the ADA, but also unexpected pitfalls as organizational cultures change as well.

consumer staff ADA mental health services