Return to Community: Building Support Systems for People with Psychiatric Disabilities

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Provides a comprehensive, practical approach to fully integrating people with serious mental illnesses into the community. Drawing from a range of resources, including mental health consumers and their families, this pathbreaking work lays the groundwork for a critical rethinking of how we view people labeled "mentally ill".

Defining "community integration," the author examines current and past approaches to meeting the needs of people with psychiatric disabilities, ...

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Overview


Provides a comprehensive, practical approach to fully integrating people with serious mental illnesses into the community. Drawing from a range of resources, including mental health consumers and their families, this pathbreaking work lays the groundwork for a critical rethinking of how we view people labeled "mentally ill".

Defining "community integration," the author examines current and past approaches to meeting the needs of people with psychiatric disabilities, demonstrating how they have been inadequate. Carling then maps out a pioneering paradigm for community integration, which consists of an active partnership among mental health professionals, community leaders, policy makers, families, neighbors, employers, and realtors. Describing ways to prepare the community to organize for change, the book discusses the need to first address the pervasive nature of stigma, which is reflected at every level of society.

Drawing from his own extensive experience, as well as from firsthand observations of model programs in place throughout the U.S., Canada, Europe, and Australia, the author offers detailed guidance for organizing a program of action in mental health systems and in local communities.

The book contains black-and-white illustrations.

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Editorial Reviews

Doody's Review Service
Reviewer: John S. Lyons, PhD (Northwestern University Feinberg School of Medicine)
Description: This book offers a consumer-based approach to planning and implementing community support services for persons with psychiatric disabilities. The focus of services is on achieving independent living and full employment.
Purpose: The purpose is to provide specific strategies, based on an approach evolved from community integration philosophy and the consumer empowerment movement. Therefore, in addition to planning approaches, a significant portion of the book is dedicated to breaking down stigmas and myths regarding persons with psychiatric disabilities.
Audience: The primary audience consists of mental health professionals engaged in planning, administering, or researching community-based mental health services. A secondary audience for this book is all mental health professionals who provide services for persons with severe and/or persistent mental illness.
Features: The book uses frequent quotations from persons with psychiatric disabilities to maintain their voice throughout. This feature is consistent with the empowerment theme of the book and helps it achieve this aim.
Assessment: This is a potentially important book that describes specific strategies toward the goals of community integration and empowerment for persons with psychiatric disabilities. It is important reading for anyone engaged in community mental health.
From the Publisher

"If you're looking for a compelling analysis of the need for consumer input and leadership in mental health service systems, and analysis that goes beyond the all-too-typical fatuous writing about consumers and empowerment, this may be your book. The first three chapters lay out the rationale for consumer participation and community integration in a way that is unequaled by anything I have read in the mental health services literature." --Thomas J Powell, University of Michigan, Social Work

"The book woke me up. It is, in many senses, a work of personal passion, and this passion, provocative, and precious is engaging. The chapter describing the consumer self-help movement could be an especially valuable tool for teaching psychiatric residents and other trainees about the consumer perspective...the volume lays out Carling's enlightened, informed, inspiring perspective, buttressed by data and practical experience. It is extremely valuable for consumers, professionals, family members, and all others whose private or public lives are touched by the disability of mental illness." --Lisa Dixon, MD, University of Maryland at Baltimore, Journal of Nervous and Mental Disease

"Well-constructed and easy to read it is a primary resource on the consumer movement and on models of contemporary mental health service delivery. Psychologists, especially those who work with persons with major mental illnesses, will be enlightened by its empirical examples of the power of dignity and choice and its refreshingly operational approaches to solving the basic pragmatic (and therapeutic) issues of community living." --Harriet P. Lefley in Contemporary Psychology

"This book is a comprehensive guide for those who seek to include people with psychiatric disabilities in the planning and implementing of services.... The book is thoroughly researched and referenced and... the ideas are clearly presented and easily applicable." --Sally Davis, the University College of Ripon and York St. John.

"Paul Carling has clearly and concisely, yet comprehensively, captured in words two decades of the achievements, challenges, policy issues, controversies, and practical realities of the community support movement in this book. He has done so with attention to the human dilemmas and obstacles faced by the intended recipients of supports, persons with psychiatric disabilities, and their families. He gives us practical suggestions and applications for revamping community support programs, and he is convincing in his reminder that integration for persons with a psychiatric disability has not yet really happened,' and that stigma is alive and well. Most importantly, he makes a strong case for the lived experience' of mental illness inextricably linked to our success in achieving community integration." --Martha B. Knisley, Formerly the Director of the Ohio Department of Mental Health and Deputy Secretary of Mental Health in Pennsylvania

"All of us are confronted with the challenge of integrating people with mental health difficulties in our communities. In Return to Community, Paul shares with us a vision of community which is built on the principles of community integration and empowerment. He shares the experience of communities in the process of making this vision a reality, as they struggle with the critical issues of employment, housing, and social networks.

Paul courageously shares a vision which draws on a wealth of both experiential and academic knowledge learned from his own life and the lives of others. His life is a model, for all of us, of a change agent committed to developing communities which embrace persons with mental health difficulties.

The underlying message that Paul communicates is one of hope: Community integration and empowerment can be the 'lived' reality for people with mental health difficulties. Personally, we are challenged to continue to believe in and take steps toward realizing this 'shared' vision of community. In so doing, we will continue to plant 'seeds of hope' in what has in the past been deemed a 'hopeless' situation." --Susan Hardie, Hon.B.Sc., B.Ed., Coordinator of the National Network for Mental Health (Canadian network of persons with mental health difficulties)

"Paul Carling is a man of passionate beliefs and boundless faith. Return to Community reflects his fundamental commitment to the principles of self-help, community integration, and empowerment for people with psychiatric disabilities. Anyone involved in the current 'quiet revolution' will value this book for its step-by-step strategies, practical examples, and tone of confidence in the future. Return to Community provides not only the road map for getting there, but the inspiration required to sustain the journey." --Bonnie Pape, M.Ed., M.E.S., Director of Programs, Canadian Mental Health Association, National Office

"Return to Community is a book that will change the reader, and cause a rethinking of attitudes and assumptions about mental health treatment....This book goes beyond the common abstractions about consumer empowerment' and community integration' to make these concepts real....A wealth of examples to make his ideas come to life. The people with psychiatric disability who speak in the book are the same people whom I know from my own clinical work, but they are presented in a new light that makes me want to go out and look at my own clients somewhat differently....The author addresses the difficult issues of limited resources, living with a disability, and competing agendas from other parts of the community. The core issue, however, is the role of stigma and how it has influenced society's treatment of persons with psychiatric disability.

Primarily, however, this is not a book about problems but about hope. The author combines information from available research with a large dose of common sense--and in the end suggests new kinds of answers. It is a book about a paradigm shift--about coming up with new answers by asking very different kind of questions. It is a book that offers concrete suggestions about how we can do things differently--how services can be organized, how housing can be developed, and how true community integration can be facilitated. It is a book that suggests new ways that we as mental health professionals can work with our clients." --Ronald J. Diamond, M.D., Medical Director, Mental Health Center of Dane County and Associate Professor of Psychiatry, University of Wisconsin

Psychiatric Services

"An important and timely book....This book provides a wealth of suggestions and examples that mental health professionals from all disciplines will find helpful and enlightening."--Psychiatric Services
Contemporary Psychology

"Well-constructed and easy to read it is a primary resource on the consumer movement and on models of contemporary mental health service delivery. Psychologists, especially those who work with persons with major mental illnesses, will be enlightened by its empirical examples of the power of dignity and choice and its refreshingly operational approaches to solving the basic pragmatic (and therapeutic) issues of community living."--Contemporary Psychology
John S. Lyons
This book offers a consumer-based approach to planning and implementing community support services for persons with psychiatric disabilities. The focus of services is on achieving independent living and full employment. The purpose is to provide specific strategies, based on an approach evolved from community integration philosophy and the consumer empowerment movement. Therefore, in addition to planning approaches, a significant portion of the book is dedicated to breaking down stigmas and myths regarding persons with psychiatric disabilities. The primary audience consists of mental health professionals engaged in planning, administering, or researching community-based mental health services. A secondary audience for this book is all mental health professionals who provide services for persons with severe and/or persistent mental illness. The book uses frequent quotations from persons with psychiatric disabilities to maintain their voice throughout. This feature is consistent with the empowerment theme of the book and helps it achieve this aim. This is a potentially important book that describes specific strategies toward the goals of community integration and empowerment for persons with psychiatric disabilities. It is important reading for anyone engaged in community mental health.

3 Stars from Doody
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780898623239
  • Publisher: Guilford Publications, Inc.
  • Publication date: 12/30/1994
  • Edition description: New Edition
  • Pages: 348
  • Product dimensions: 5.96 (w) x 7.82 (h) x 0.91 (d)

Meet the Author


Paul J. Carling, PhD, formerly director of the Center for Community Change at Trinity College of Vermont, is currently on the faculty of the Program in Community Mental Health at Southern New Hampshire University. He is Senior Consultant of the Centre for Community Change International.
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Table of Contents


Introduction
I. Redefining the Needs of Mental Health Consumers
1. Community Integration: The Challenge to Traditional Mental Health Services
2. Foundations for a New Approach
3. Mental Health Consumers and the Consumer Self-Help Movement
II. Organizing for Community Change
4. Preparing for Organizing
5. Strategies for Change
III. Achieving Community Integration
6. Revamping Established Support Systems: Mental Heatlh Systems and Higher Education
7. Improving Access to, Preserving, and Developing Housing
8. Creating Employment Opportunities
9. Promoting Social Integration
IV. Empowering Consumers and Their Families
10. Sharing Power with Consumers
11. Involving Families as Partners in the Process of Change
Conclusion: Future Challenges and New Directions
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