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Health Soc Work. 2003 Aug;28(3):206-13.

Psychiatric rehabilitation: an empowerment-based approach to mental health services.

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School of Social Work, College of Public Programs, Arizona State University, P.O. Box 871802, Tempe, AZ 85287-1802, USA.


Psychiatric rehabilitation is a framework for providing services to people with mental illness that encourages adaptive community functioning in all life domains. Despite its well-established inclusion in community mental health treatment programs, psychiatric rehabilitation has received little attention in the discipline-specific social work literature. The philosophical base of psychiatric rehabilitation is built around the principles of empowerment, competence, and recovery. Its goal of promoting adaptive community functioning is consistent with social work values and contemporary social work practice models. This article provides an overview of the history, philosophy, and services components of psychiatric rehabilitation and analyzes its compatibility with social work. Further integration of psychiatric rehabilitation and social work services is suggested.

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