Psychiatric Rehabilitation: An Effective Strategy for Including People with Severe Mental Illness

By Gregory G. Garske.

Published by The Diversity Collection

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

People with severe mental illness (SMI) continue to find themselves being denied full participation in family, normal social activities, and productive employment. Some of these problems stem from cognitive and/or behavioral dysfunction that result from mental illness. Yet, other missed goals represent the effects of stigma and discrimination. In response to this dilemma, this paper focusses on the philosophy, principles, and practices of psychiatric rehabilitation. The mission of psychiatric rehabilitation is to help people with long-term psychiatric disabilities to increase their functioning so that they may be successful and satisfied in the environment of their choice, with the least amount of ongoing professional intervention. Psychiatric rehabilitation services are designed to help people with SMI to achieve (1) recovery; (2)maximum community integration; and (3) the highest possible quality of life. Traditionally, medication and psychotherapy were the two major treatment approaches. While these methods are still used, a major emphasis is now placed on strengthening client skills and strengthening environmental supports. Psyhiatric rehabilitation practices should be guided by the basic philosophy of rehabilitation, that is, persons with disabilities require skills and environmental supports to fulfill role demands of various living, learning, and working environments.

Keywords: Psychiatric Rehabilitation, Severe Mental Illness, Stigma

International Journal of Diversity in Organizations, Communities and Nations, Volume 8, Issue 2, pp.239-244. Article: Print (Spiral Bound). Article: Electronic (PDF File; 543.237KB).

Dr. Gregory G. Garske

Professor, School of Intervention Services, Bowling Green State University, Bowling Green, Ohio, USA

He holds a Ph.D. in Rehabilitation Psychology and a MA in Public Policy and Administration from the University of Wisconsin-Madison and a MSW from Florida State University. Research interests include human service worker job satisfaction, psychiatric rehabilitation, and adjustment to disability. He held national positions, such as serving as President of the National Rehabilitation Counseling Association, membership on the President's Committee for the Employment of People with Disabilities, and service as a Commissioner on the Commission on Rehabilitation Counselor Certification. Dr. Garske also serves on editorial boards for several rehabilitation journals.


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