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World Psychiatry. 2012 Feb;11(1):47-51.

Lessons learned in developing community mental health care in North America.

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  • 11Dartmouth Psychiatric Research Center and Dartmouth Medical School, Rivermill Complex, 85 Mechanic St., Lebanon, NH 03766, USA.


This paper summarizes the findings for North America of the WPA Task Force on Steps, Obstacles and Mistakes to Avoid in the Implementation of Community Mental Health Care. Community mental health has evolved over five decades in the United States and Canada. The United States has led the world in innovation and spending, but provide variable quality of care; Canada has steadily developed a more uniform public health system for less cost. Lessons learned from North America include: team-based approaches and other evidence-based practices, when implemented with high fidelity, can improve outcomes in routine mental health care settings; recovery ideology and peer support enhance care, though they have not been studied rigorously; effective community-based care for people with serious mental disorders is expensive.


Canada; Community mental health care; United States; evidence-based practices; psychiatric rehabilitation; recovery; team-based care

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