Empowering People with Severe Mental Illness: A Practical Guide

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9780195171877: Empowering People with Severe Mental Illness: A Practical Guide

The concept of empowerment has become increasingly popular with mental health professionals. But while it is a frequently cited goal in the helping professions, empowerment is often nothing more than a buzzword that lacks specificity and grounding in real-world applications. Consequently, little practical guidance exists demonstrating how to achieve it in specific instances with specific groups of people. This book is the first professional guide that operationalizes the theory of empowerment, outlines the conditions under which it is likely to occur, and applies a practical model for working with people with severe mental illness.

In this unique and thoroughly researched volume, Donald Linhorst analyzes the conditions that facilitate empowerment and provides the framework necessary to bolster this historically powerless population's access to the material and cultural resources they need to regain control of their lives. Chapters illustrate how to foster empowerment in treatment planning, housing selection, organizational decision making, mental health service planning and policy making, employment, participation in research and evaluation, and consumer provision of mental health and support services. Case studies from a public psychiatric hospital and a community mental health agency illustrate each of the seven areas and present evidence of the model's efficacy. Finally, the book maps out the roles that service providers, administrators, policy makers, advocacy groups, researchers, and clients can play in the empowerment process.

Checklists, step-by-step instructions, historical overviews, and vivid examples make this a valuable teaching tool, planning guide, and everyday reference for mental health professionals seeking an innovative and evidence-based approach to working with their clients with severe mental illness.

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About the Author:

Donald M. Linhorst is at St. Louis University.

Review:


"Bravo to Dr. Linhorst! Rarely has a text documented what has long been known by consumers and family members-the history of powerlessness experienced by people with severe mental illness that has served to keep them the most disenfranchised of all the disability groups. The books unique and most significant contribution is its presentation on the extent to which empowerment of people with mental illness is possible and what needs to happen to make it a reality. Cleverly organized and integrated, this book is packed with all the information most relevant to understanding and shaping policy and practice for severe mental illness."--Carol T. Mowbray, Ph.D., University of Michigan School of Social Work


"This book should be required reading for psychiatrists and other mental health professionals and service providers!" --Joseph A. Rogers, President and CEO, Mental Health Association of Southeastern Pennsylvania


"An invaluable resource for anyone wanting to understand the concept and parameters of empowerment and how it can be achieved by a historically powerless population. Dr. Linhorst provides practical strategies and techniques for activities in all the social and functional domains that can be empowering to adults with severe mental illness. An added bonus is a comprehensive review of relevant mental health policies. This is a must read for policymakers, planners, mental health administrators, providers, researchers, students, as well as consumers, and family members." --Phyllis Solomon, Ph.D., University of Pennsylvania School of Social Work


This is a very practical and useful book, which challenges many traditional mental health values, practices, and policies. --LeRoy Spaniol, Ph.D., Executive Publisher, Psychiatric Rehabilitation Journal


"This book is inspiring...I work with individuals suffering from schizophrenia, schizoaffective disorder, and bipolar disorder and realize how difficult the work really is. But the book gives hope that change is possible for some individuals. Dr. Linhorst has really given us a practical guide to treatment and how to involve, i.e. empower, clients to make choices about their lives."-- Gary B Kaniuk, Psy.D., Doody's


"This book is inspiring...Dr. Linhorst has really given us a practical guide to treatment and how to involve, i.e. empower, clients to make choices about their lives."--Doody's


"This book is an indispensable resource for policy makers, educators, students, and service providers."-J.H. Rubin, St. Joseph College, in Choice Reviews


"...to my knowledge Donald Linhorst's new and wonderful volume is the first which examines [empowerment] exclusively and comprehensively in the context of how it applies to people with serious and persistent mental illness ...In examining this complex phenomenon of empowerment, he leaves no stone unturned, and despite the daunting nature of his task, maintains an optimistic view of how people and cultures can change. This book is incredibly useful ... It can serve as the basis of a graduate course in numerous disciplines in mental health, and it can be used as a blueprint for state mental health systems preparing to transform." -- Andrew Bernstein, PhD, CPRP Clinical and Community Psychologist in Independent Practice, Psychiatric Rehabilitation Journal


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