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Empowering People with Severe Mental IllnessA Practical Guide$
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Donald M. Linhorst

Print publication date: 2005

Print ISBN-13: 9780195171877

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: January 2009

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780195171877.001.0001

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Empowerment Through Organizational Decision Making

Empowerment Through Organizational Decision Making

(p.141) 7 Empowerment Through Organizational Decision Making
Empowering People with Severe Mental Illness

Donald M. Linhorst

Oxford University Press

This chapter applies the nine conditions for empowerment introduced in Chapter 4 to participation in decision making in the agencies from which people with mental illness receive services. Some of the structures for participation by people with mental illness include membership on agency boards of directors, task forces, and committees; consumer or user councils; forums between clients and agency leaders; participation in program evaluation; formal grievance systems and advocacy programs; and informal means, typically personal conversations, letters, or telephone calls to clinical staff who then shares that information with agency leaders, to agency leaders themselves, or to individuals within the mental health system who have some oversight of the organization. Case studies from a state psychiatric hospital and a community mental health illustrate the application of conditions. The chapter concludes with sixteen guidelines to promote empowerment through organizational decision making.

Keywords:   organizations, board of directors, task force, committees, consumer councils, program evaluation, grievances, advocacy

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