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Addressing Mental Health Care: A Handbook for Discussion & Deliberation

This issue guide was created in 2007 by Kansas State University’s Institute for Civic Discourse and Democracy (ICDD) in association with the National Association of Mental Illness (Kansas).  David Proctor, ICDD director, has made this issue guide available for anyone who is interested in using it to deliberate about mental illness and public policy.

The 16-page guide, titled Addressing Mental Health Care: a handbook for discussion & deliberation, presents three possible approaches for deliberation:

Approach One – Consumers Come First
Supporters of this approach believe that privacy is paramount and that individuals should have the right to make choices about their health care.  Mental health consumers should be able to decide what treatment is best and also have the option to refuse treatment altogether.

Approach Two – Public Responsiblity
Advocates of this perspective contend that society has the responsibility to intervene in the treatment of individuals when they are unable or unwilling to do so themselves.  Additionally, they believe information sharing is critical to a functional mental health care system.

Approach Three – Treatment Over Criminalization
Those who support this approach believe that incarceration should never be used as a substitute for needed treatment.  Supporters of this perspective believe that treatment is not only more cost effective than the use of incarceration, but also is better for the welfare and security of individuals and society.

Resource Link:
http://www.nifi.org/stream_document.aspx?rID=23551&catID=15&itemID=23550&typeID=8 (scanned PDF)

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