Consumer Drop-in Centers: Operations, Services and Consumer Involvement

Interest in involvement of consumers in mental health and psychiatric rehabilitation services delivery has expanded in recent years, encompassing self-help approaches,consumers employed as providers in formal agencies, and consumers operating their own services. This study reports results from in-depth phone surveys conducted with 32 consumer drop-in centers in Michigan. Results indicate that centers operate in many ways like other human services businesses, albeit with much smaller budgets. Funding levels, salaries, and services showed great heterogeneity among the centers and in comparison with reports in the literature. Centers autonomously run by consumers and centers with consumer involvement (operated by a non-consumer agency) were found to differ significantly on several variables, including consumer control, funding and service levels, and challenges. Implications for the growth and increased use of consumer drop-in centers are discussed. (Authors)

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Health & Social Work