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J Psychosoc Nurs Ment Health Serv. 2006 Dec;44(12):26-35.

Consumer-operated self-help services.

Author information

  • 1University of Medicine and Dentistry of New Jersey, Department of Psychiatric Rehabilitation, National Institute on Disability and Rehabilitation Research, Scotch Plains, USA.

Erratum in

  • J Psychosoc Nurs Ment Health Serv. 2007 Mar;45(3):43.


To create a mental health system focused on recovery, consumer-operated services, for which an evidence base is emerging, should be promoted. Consumer-operated services have become a viable, cost-effective model designed to provide social support and recovery opportunities for people diagnosed with a psychiatric disability who are living in the community. This article describes the consumer-operated services model and uses a self-help center as an example. The core components of consumer-operated self-help centers are outlined. Qualitative data gathered through a larger study of self-help centers is presented. The article highlights the benefits of and areas for improving this innovative resource, which offers many advantages and opportunities for people living with a psychiatric disability in the community.

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