Community Mental Health Journal

, Volume 50, Issue 6, pp 656–663 | Cite as

Activating People to Address Their Health Care Needs: Learning from People with Lived Experience of Chronic Illnesses

  • Victoria Stanhope
  • Benjamin F. Henwood
Original Paper


One of the primary goals of health care reform is improving the quality and reducing the costs of care for people with co-morbid mental health and physical health conditions. One strategy is to integrate primary and behavioral health care through care coordination and patient activation. This qualitative study using community based participatory research methods informs the development of integrated care by presenting the perspectives of those with lived experience of chronic illnesses and homelessness. Themes presented include the internal and external barriers to addressing health needs and the key role of peer support in overcoming these barriers.


Health care reform Patient activation Homelessness Peer support Integrated primary Behavioral healthcare 


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media New York 2013

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.School of Social WorkNew York UniversityNew YorkUSA
  2. 2.School of Social WorkUniversity of Southern CaliforniaLos AngelesUSA

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