Community Mental Health Journal

, Volume 40, Issue 4, pp 281–295

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

  • Martha Shumway
  • George J. Unick
  • William A. McConnell
  • Ralph Catalano
  • Peter Forster


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.

Community Mental Health services mail survey preferences 


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Copyright information

© Human Sciences Press, Inc. 2004

Authors and Affiliations

  • Martha Shumway
    • 1
  • George J. Unick
    • 2
  • William A. McConnell
    • 3
  • Ralph Catalano
    • 3
  • Peter Forster
    • 4
  1. 1.Assistant Professor, Department of PsychiatryUniversity of California
  2. 2.Graduate Student Researcher, Department of PsychiatryUniversity of California
  3. 3.Associate Director for Quality Management, Department of Public HealthDivision of Mental Health Services
  4. 4.Associate Clinical Professor, Department of PsychiatryUniversity of California

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