Abstract

For at least a decade, concern has been expressed about the status of occupational therapy in mental health. Increases in the number of new jobs and clinicians have not kept pace with growth in other practice areas. Although growing criticism of the practice of deinstitutionalization and an increased focus on cost-effectiveness have recently become major public policy trends in mental health practice, the psychological and nursing professions have responded creatively in order to expand their influence and practice. This paper relates changes in the delivery of mental health services to the systematic study of policy development and careful planning needed to help occupational therapy accomplish the same goals.

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