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|
Assistant Professor, College of Health and Human Services, School of Nursing, California State University at Dominguez Hills, Carson, California, USA
Instructor, Department of Political Science, Azusa Pacific University, Monterey Park, California, USA
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