Technical Assistance Resources for Consumer-Driven Programs

Establishing, funding and managing require a broad range of resources. A short catalog of resources in some of these areas is found below. In addition to these materials , the National Mental Health Consumers' Self-Help Clearinghouse provides technical assistance in developing, running and evaluating consumer-driven service programs. Other resources may also be found at our website at http://www.mhselfhelp.org/techassist.php. To locate materials that are not directly linked from this page, search for your local public library online or in your community.

Click on a topic below to go to the appropriate technical assistance resource area or simply scroll down to view the entire list.

What does it mean to be 'consumer-driven'?

History, Concepts, Ideals and Models

Draft Principles of Consumer-Driven Care from the Center for Mental Health Services.

"Consumer-Delivered Services as a Best Practice in Mental Health Care and the Development of Practice Guidelines." Salzer, M.S., & Mental Health Association of Southeastern Pennsylvania Best Practices Team (2002). Psychiatric Rehabilitation Skills, 6, 355-382.

"Self-Help Programs:  Description of the Characteristics and Membership." Chamberlin, J.E., Rogers, S., Ellison, M.L. (1996) Psychiatric Rehabilitation Journal, 19(3), 33-42.

Core Competencies of Service Providers: Views of Consumer Stakeholders. Campbell, J. (1998) Missouri Institute of Mental Health.

"Peer Support/Peer Provided Services Underlying Processes, Benefits, and Critical Ingredients." Solomon, P. (2004) Psychiatric Rehabilitation Journal, 27(4), 392-401.

"History of the Consumer Movement." National Mental Health Consumers' Self-Help Clearinghouse.


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How do CDS help people recover from mental illnesses?

Consumers as Providers in Psychiatric Rehabilitation. Mowbray, C.T. et al (eds.) (1997). Columbia: MD. International Association of Psychosocial Rehabilitation Services. Find in a library or Purchase from USPRA

"Individual and Social Benefits of Mutual Aid Self-help groups." Humphreys, K. (1997). Social Policy, 27(3), 12-20.

"Ten Self-Help Principles." Riessman, F. (1997) Perspectives, 3(2).

"Consumer-Run Service Participation, Recovery of Social Functioning, and the Mediating Role of Psychological Factors." Yanos, P.T., Primavera, L.H., Knight, E. (2001). Psychiatric Services, 52(4), 493-500.

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CDS are best practices for mental health

CDS work! Many studies have shown that consumer-driven services help people recover from mental illness, build social supports and confidence, and develop essential skills to move beyond the effects of mental illness.

UIC National Research and Training Center webcast "Grading the Evidence for Consumer-Driven Servcices"

"Mental Health: A Report of the Surgeon General" This report endorses peer support and consumer advocacy.

"Consumer Self-Help" This section of the report is specifically on self-help and consumer advocacy.

References This section lists all the references for the studies cited by the Surgeon General.

The Consumer-Operated Services Program (COSP) Multisite Research Initiative is a federally-funded national effort to discover to what extent consumer-operated programs as an adjunct to traditional mental health services are effective in improving the outcomes of people with serious mental illness.

"Research Related to Self-Help Support Groups." The American Self-Help Clearinghouse: Self-Help Group Sourcebook Online.

A Review of Research on the Effectiveness of Self-Help and Mutual Aid Groups." Kyrouz, E.M., Humphrey, K., Loomis, C. (2002) in White, B.J., Madara, E.J. (Eds.) American Self-Help Clearinghouse Self-Help Group Sourcebook. Chapter 5, 1-16.

"Peer Staff in Mental Health." National Association for Rights Protection and Advocacy past president and 2005 Clifford Beers Award recipient Pat Risser's website.

Annotated Bibliography on Consumer-Operated Services. Sommers, D., Campbell, J., and Rittenhouse, T. (1999). Missouri Institute of Mental Health Program in Consumer Studies and Training: St. Louis, MO.

Self-Determination for People with Psychiatric Disabilities: An Annotated Bibliography of Resources. UIC National Research & Training Center on Psychiatric Disability and the Self-Determination Knowledge Development Workgroup. (2002) Chicago, IL: published by the authors.

Mutual Help, an Important Gateway to Wellbeing and Mental Health. Finn, L., Bishop, B. (2001) New Paradigm: Australian Journal on Psychosocial Rehabilitation, 13-17. This paper gives information about and citations for a series of peer support/mutual aid studies conducted by Julian Rappaport and colleagues.


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Developing support and funding for your CDS/Resources for evaluation

Determinants of Client Outcomes in Self-Help Agencies. Segal, S.P., Siverman, C. ( 2002) Psychiatric Services, 53(3), 304-309.

Raising Money for a Self-Help/Advocacy Group. National Mental Health Consumers' Self-Help Clearinghouse.

Consumer-Run Businesses and Services. National Mental Health Consumers' Self-Help Clearinghouse.

The Evaluation Center at the Human Services Research Institute has many resources on evaluation of programs, and in-depth tools for finding and promoting your outcomes.


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