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Aust N Z J Psychiatry. 1998 Dec;32(6):873-9.

Development of a consumer advocacy program.

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  • 1Psychiatry Unit, Prince of Wales Hospital, Randwick, New South Wales, Australia. o'



The aim of the present paper was to describe the development of a consumer advocacy program within the Eastern Suburbs of Sydney (NSW, Australia).


The program was developed within the context of a research project that investigated the effect on outcome of client-focused approaches to community case management for clients with schizophrenia and bipolar disorder.


While the development of the advocacy program was limited by the constraints imposed by the research methodology, the study provided the opportunity to delineate the process involved and identify key components that need to be incorporated into future advocacy programs.


The main guidelines determined were that consumer participation in service delivery needs to be flexible, consumer driven, have broad-based support, ready access to supervision and debriefing, ongoing training and clear job descriptions. Given adequate support, autonomy and funding, consumer advocates can provide a much needed resource for their fellow consumers.

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