chapter  14
18 Pages

Self-Help Group Participation Among People with Severe Mental Illness

In community mental health services, self-help has been promoted as part of a broader effort to reform psychiatry through patient self-advocacy (Chamberlin, 1977). Consumer involvement in mental health services has been mandated by federal law (Public Law 99-660, 1986) and actively promoted by projects at the federal and state levels (Parrish, 1989; National Institute of Mental Health, 1991). The mental health consumers movement has made strong claims for the relevance of self-help groups and peer supports as an important and heretofore missing component in the system of community mental health services (Chamberlin and Rogers, 1990; Zinman, Harp and Budd, 1987).