consumer’s voice is central to all

The consumer’s view is central to all contemporary psychological health contexts and areas of practice

Introduction

Consumers should actively participate in the issues affecting their health as a whole.Consumers can voice their concerns to the health sectors through several means. However, there are no clear means of making this concept a reality. When consumers participate in the current mental health subject, they would fulfil their rights to participate, enhance accountability among the mental health providers and professional, and finally, they would address issues arising from mental health provision, therefore, improving the healthcare provision exercise as a whole. In as much as customer participation is essential in the mental health practice, there is the need for goodwill from both the government authorities and healthcare providers to gain positive outcomes from such initiatives. Consumers’ participation in the mental health practice is ineffective if it is carried out in a disorganized manner. It should there involve well-organized organizations with the required resources to ensure that consumer’s voice is heard and acted upon at all times.An organization such as the Consumers’ Health Forum of Australia is well organized and efficiently communicate on behalf the health consumers in Australia (De Vecchi, Kenny & Kidd, 2015).

Current Consumers’ Participation in Mental Health Practice

States such as the USA, the United Kingdom, and Australia have embraced the concept of consumer participation in the health sector. Outcomes show that such activities have significantly improved the healthcare provisions. Mental health sector receives significant recognition from several nations across the world. In the United Kingdom, several mechanisms are put in place to encourage consumer participation in the mental health practice. However, little success is present so far. Most of the responsible bodies in public and the government are yet to embrace this new idea (Knox et al., 2015).

In Australia, the situation is entirely different as several healthcare providers form partnerships with the mental health consumers to improve healthcare provision in this particular medical field. When the mental health consumers present their views into forums such as the Consumers’ Health Forum of Australia, they get the opportunity to set healthcare policies and make decisions that would positively influence their experiences. Currently, it is early to determine whether consumer participation in the mental health sector has contributed towards the redistribution of resources and power. Research, on the other hand, suggests that it is difficult to make any commendable changes in the healthcare sector. Several scholars remain skeptical that the healthcare shall embrace consumer participation shortly (Morrison, Meehan & Stomski, 2015).

In New Zealand, the situation is gradually improving with several health providers inviting consumers to participate in the health provision systems. Consumers, on the other hand, are actively participating in consumer forums which in turn advocates for their interests in the healthcare sector. As a matter of facts, consumer participation in the New Zealand health sector does not limit itself to only mental health but also disability management. However, the need to develop a national consumer body to address mental health issues remains an ongoing project (Wilrycx et al., 2015).

Currently, the Mental Health Commission represents the mental health consumers at the national level as opposed to other healthcare segments which do not have national representation. Another healthcare consumer group which is slowly moving towards national representation is the Disability consumers. Currently, they use the Disabled Persons Assembly to champion for their interests at the national level. Despite the fact that the mental consumers have national representation in various nations such as New Zealand and Australia, there are still many gaps that need adjustments. For instance, it does not make a sense that mental health consumers have the mental health commission which should champion for their rights at the national level yet it lacks an organized channel of communication amongst its members. Currently, the body requires a federal website, it does not hold regular meetings, and neither does it have an email list for its members. It, therefore, becomes an uphill task for the government in nations such as New Zealand to efficiently collect views from its mental health consumers and act upon them. Again it is difficult to disseminate relevant information to the mental health care consumers (Gee, McGarty & Banfield, 2016).

Governments recognize the mental health consumer organizations at various degrees. While some states such as the United Kingdom and Australia closely scrutinize such bodies, countries such as New Zealand does not thoroughly examine its healthcare providers. In fact, in the United Kingdom, the authority inspects, audit and gauge the mental health consumer agencies by consumer participation performance. In the international arena such as United States of America, Canada, and the United Kingdom have joined New Zealand in embracing consumer voice in mental health practice (Hollands et al., 2015).

Conclusion

Mental health is a significant element of healthcare service that needs consumer participation. All nations across the world should embrace the idea of mental health consumer organizations to improve their service delivery. They should follow the footsteps of Australia and develop efficient consumer bodies.

References

De Vecchi, N., Kenny, A., & Kidd, S. (2015). Stakeholder views on a recovery-oriented psychiatric rehabilitation art therapy program in a rural Australian mental health service: a qualitative description. International publication of mental health systems, 9(1), 11.

Gee, A., McGarty, C., & Banfield, M. (2016). Limits to specific consumer and carer participation from the perspectives of Australian systemic mental health advocates. Journal of Mental Health, 25(3), 231-237.

Hollands, T., Sutton, D., Wright-St Clair, V., & Hall, R. (2015). Maori mental health consumers’ sensory experience of kapa haka and its utility to occupational therapy practice. New Zealand Publication on Occupational Therapy, 62(1), 3.

Knox, K., Kelly, F., Mey, A., Hattingh, L., Fowler, J. L., & Wheeler, A. J. (2015). Australian mental health consumers’ and carers’ experiences of community pharmacy service. Health Expectations, 18(6), 2107-2120.

Morrison, P., Meehan, T., & Stomski, N. J. (2015). Living with antipsychotic medication side?effects: The experience of Australian mental health consumers. International Journal of Mental Health Nursing, 24(3), 253-261.

Wilrycx, G., Croon, M., Van den Broek, A., & van Nieuwenhuizen, C. (2015). Evaluation of a recovery-oriented care training program for mental health care professionals: effects on psychological health consumer outcomes. International Journal of Social Psychiatry, 61(2), 164-173.