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Research Article  |   June 1996
Managed Mental Health Care: Reflections in a Time of Turmoil
Author Affiliations
  • Betsy VanLeit, MPA, OTR/L, is Lecturer II, Occupational Therapy Program, School of Medicine, University of New Mexico, Health Sciences and Services Building, Room 215, Albuquerque, New Mexico 87131-5641
Article Information
Advocacy / Mental Health / Research
Research Article   |   June 1996
Managed Mental Health Care: Reflections in a Time of Turmoil
American Journal of Occupational Therapy, June 1996, Vol. 50, 428-434. doi:10.5014/ajot.50.6.428
American Journal of Occupational Therapy, June 1996, Vol. 50, 428-434. doi:10.5014/ajot.50.6.428
Abstract

This article reviews the history, growth, and evolution of managed care in mental health and substance abuse treatment. Specific issues described are stigma, the important social dimensions and chronicity of some types of mental illness and chemical dependency, and reliance on the public sector for care. Opportunities and challenges for occupational therapists in the rapidly changing mental health system are discussed, including the use of interdisciplinary teams, the importance of measuring functional outcomes of interventions, the need to develop clinical guidelines, the importance of the community setting and a continuum of services, ethical dilemmas, and the importance of assertive occupational therapy advocacy and involvement in health care reform.