Service User Involvement and Perspectives

  • Marta Ferraz
Part of the Principles of Specialty Nursing book series (PSN)


This chapter focuses on the highly important issue of mental health service user involvement in formal mental healthcare services and considers service user perspectives of mental healthcare in Europe. From the 1970s onward, European nations have seen a veritable “wave” of mental health service user groups and organizations as they sought to protect their rights from what they often experienced as a politically oppressive system. In this decade, most European countries have national (and/or local) service user organizations, and federal level mental health policies have been modernized to reflect and make room for service user perspectives. Accordingly, after briefly introducing the issue, this chapter explores the outcomes associated with involving service users in mental health care—such as they are. The five key attributes of service user involvement are explored, followed by identifying and discussing the challenges such developments present. The chapter concludes by linking mental health “recovery” with service user involvement and offers some recommendations for practice and policy.


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Copyright information

© Springer International Publishing Switzerland 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  • Marta Ferraz
    • 1
  1. 1.Coordinator of the Advisory Commission for User and Caregiver Participation, National Mental Health Programme, DGS, Director of the Oeiras Psychosocial Rehabilitation UnitARIAMiraPortugal

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