ERIC Number: ED041297
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 1970-Mar
Reference Count: 0
Citizen Participation and Influence in Comprehensive Mental Health/Retardation Programs: Real or Apparent?
Increasingly, Mental health professionals are turning for support and assistance in their work to citizens in the community. Consequently, the roles of citizen groups as participants and collaborators have taken on increased significance. These citizens are asking, "How much influence will they be allowed to exert in planning and implementing community mental health programs?" This paper illustrates the issue by discussing the experiences and problems faced by legally authorized citizen area boards in Massachusetts since 1967 when a law reorganizing the Department of Mental Health went into effect to provide more effective comprehensive mental health and mental retardation services across the state. The composition of the boards is described and legal provisions concerning their duties and powers are elaborated. The findings of a study conducted by the Department of Mental Health to ascertain area board involvement and concomitant problems and goals are discussed. Questions raised by the survey relate to: (1) power; (2) leadership; (3) community control; (4) money; (5) intergroup reconciliation; (6) planning; and (7) philosophies of service delivery versus community and social change. A discussion about the future of citizen area boards in Massachusetts concludes the paper. (TL)
Publication Type: N/A
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: Massachusetts State Dept. of Mental Health, Boston.; American Orthopsychiatric Association, New York, NY.
Note: Paper presented at the American Orthopsychiatric Association Convention in San Francisco, California, March 23-26, 1970