Consumer participation in housing: reflecting on consumer preferences

Document Type


Publication details

Browne, G & Hemsley, M 2010, 'Consumer participation in housing: reflecting on consumer preferences', Australasian Psychiatry, vol. 18, no. 6, pp. 579-583.

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Objective: Historically, people living with mental illness have had limited chance to participate in mental health services other than as patients. Following on from a recent review focusing on consumer participation in mental health services, this paper looks at consumer participation in housing. Housing is a critical element in recovery from mental illness. Without suitable housing, people have little chance of maintaining other resources in their lives, such as supportive social relationships and meaningful activities.

Conclusions: Consumer participation is not a common topic in the recent literature, despite the significant public policy push to promote it. The importance of appropriate housing to the recovery of people living with mental illness cannot be underestimated. Even well-meaning and well-resourced housing initiatives can fall short of meeting consumers’ recovery goals when they do not incorporate the expressed needs of consumers. These expressed needs include keeping units small in size and employing drop-in support models.

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