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Health Aff (Millwood). 2006 May-Jun;25(3):720-9.

The patient as a policy factor: a historical case study of the consumer/survivor movement in mental health.

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  • 1Stony Brook University, Stony Brook, New York, USA.


This paper analyzes the history of the modern consumer/survivor movement and its impact on the policy-making climate in the mental health field. The growing attentiveness to consumers' perspectives is presented largely as a consequence, not a cause, of radical restructurings of the mental health system. Consumers' perspectives have entered policy discourse in the wake of policy failures and have flourished in a climate of perpetual crisis and tight budgets. Precisely because it has been such a contested arena for so long, the mental health field has produced some innovative responses to demands for patient empowerment.

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