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Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration
Opportunities and Barriers to Empowering People with Severe Mental Illness Through Participation in Treatment Planning
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Participation in treatment planning can be one means of empowering clients. However, significant barriers exist to empowering people with severe mental illness through treatment planning. This qualitative study reviewed documents and conducted focus groups with clients and staff of a public psychiatric hospital to identify barriers to empowerment and the conditions that must be present for client empowerment to occur through treatment planning. The conditions for empowerment were based on both psychological and organizational factors. For empowerment to occur, clients need psychiatric stability and decision-making skills. Organizations promote empowerment by ensuring that clinical staff have the time to involve clients in treatment planning, promoting staff attitudes that are respectful of clients' ability to participate in treatment planning, providing clients with a range of treatment options, designing programs that have a strong philosophical commitment to client empowerment, and implementing programs properly. (Authors)
Journal of Social Work