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In our own words : consumers' views on the reality of consumer participation in mental health care
journal contributionposted on 06.12.2017, 00:00 by V Goodwin, Brenda Happell
The opportunity for consumers to participate in all stages of mental health service delivery, including the planning of their individual care, is now clearly enshrined in Australian mental health policy. Published research which examines the extent to which this has been realised in practice is limited, and the paucity is even greater for research reflecting thie view of the consumers themselves. This paper presents the finding of a qualitative study. In-depth interviews were undertaken with consumers of mental health servies from two rural areas in Vicotria to explore their views and opinions regarding their ability for genuine participation in the planning and delivery of thei mental health care, and in particular on the role of nurses in facilitating this process. Data were analysed with the assistance of NVivo, using a content analysis approach. The main themes identified were: respect, encouragement, callaboration and systemic barriers. The findings suggest that consumer participants indentify a numer of barriers which limit their ability to particpiate effectively. The implications for the role of the nurse in facilitating genuine consumer participation are discussed.