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Psychol Health Med. 2013;18(4):482-9. doi: 10.1080/13548506.2012.748207. Epub 2012 Dec 11.

How can non-clinical case management complement clinical support for people with chronic mental illness residing in the community?

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School of Business, University of Western Sydney, Industry and Innovation Studies (InIS) Research Group, Penrith, Australia.


The recovery of people with chronic mental illness who reside in the community requires integrated support services. Yet evidence of poor collaboration in the mental health system abounds and there is little understanding of how non-clinical case managers can work effectively with clinical services. This article analyses an example from the mental health Housing and Accommodation Support Initiative in Australia. Using interviews (42 consumers, family members and mental health workers) and consumer care plans (20), the article explores how clinical and non-clinical case managers worked together in consumer care planning and examines the perceived influence of support. The research found they worked effectively in care planning when the planning was consumer-driven; there was active participation from consumers, non-clinical and clinical case managers; and when planning was treated as a process, with incremental goals, reflective practice, as well as shared understanding and commitment to the collaboration.

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