Impacts of Policy Change: How the Recovery Model will Transform Traditional Roles of Organizations, Therapists, and Clients

By Dale Mueller and Tanya Mueller.

Published by The Diversity Collection

Format Price
Article: Print $US10.00
Article: Electronic $US5.00

Historically, mental health services in the United States of America have been fragmented, not available to all who need such services, fraught with stigma and negative connotation, and infused by medical models that presuppose definitions of wellness and appropriateness. A recent ballot initiative in California, passed by voters in 2004, created new funding streams and opportunities for capacity building of services as well as a more client-centered approach to treatment and models of care. Recovery, Resilience and Wellness instead of the traditional medical model are used to drive emerging models of treatment and delivery, thus bringing about changes in treatment structure, therapeutic interventions, and client involvement in treatment planning including peer support and counseling. Embedded in the Recovery model are opportunities for culturally and linguistically appropriate care, as defined by the client and peer support, rather than by definitions or expectations imposed by established systems. This paper recounts trends in national policy as well as the California Mental Health Services Act, components of the Recovery Model that impact delivery of mental health services and promote cultural relevance, and the implications of these changes for therapists, clients, and communities.

Keywords: Mental Health, Community Services, Health Care, Therapy, Culturally Relevant Care, Recovery and Wellness, Policy, Political Activism

International Journal of Diversity in Organizations, Communities and Nations, Volume 6, Issue 6, pp.123-130. Article: Print (Spiral Bound). Article: Electronic (PDF File; 915.172KB).

Dr. Dale Mueller

Assistant Professor, College of Health and Human Services, School of Nursing, California State University at Dominguez Hills, Carson, California, USA

Dale is a Registered Nurse and public advocate for access to health services, including mental health treatment, in a culturally meaningful context. She is affiliated with the Mental Health Planning Council (California, USA) as well as a tenure-track faculty member at California State University, College of Health and Human Services. She has served in executive capacites in many community-based organizations for over 30 years. At age 45 she returned to school to earn a doctorate in education (EdD), where her studies included instructional design for distance delivery of courses in health care fields. She has subsequently written and taught many online continuing education and for-credit courses for health care professionals. Dale now works full-time in the area of distance education, as well as political advocacy for the advancement of culturally relevant delivery of health care.

Tanya Mueller

Instructor, Department of Political Science, Azusa Pacific University, Monterey Park, California, USA

Tanya Mueller is a third year doctoral student in clinical psychology at Azusa Pacific University in Azusa, California as well as an adjunct lecturer in the Department of Political Science at East Los Angeles College in Monterey Park, California. She has incorporated her background in political science with her recent work in the study of clinical psychology to focus on advocacy for mental health related issues and services.


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