Community Treatment Orders for People with Serious Mental Illness: A New Zealand Study

A. Gibbs, J. Dawson, R. Mullen
2005 British Journal of Social Work  
New Zealand legislation allows for the involuntary outpatient treatment of people with serious mental illness. This study examines the views of service users, family members and mental health professionals (MHPs) about the impact of this regime. Semistructured interviews were completed with forty-two service users, twenty-seven family members and ninety MHPs, with recent experience of the regime. Participants were asked to comment on the functions of community treatment (or non-resident)
more » ... their benefits and restrictions, decisions about their termination and any impact on relationships. Most service users believed the main purpose of the order was to ensure they took medication. They also believed the order provided better access to other treatments, supported accommodation and care from MHPs. Families considered the orders provided relief for them and a supportive structure for their relative's care. MHPs found the orders useful for engaging service users in a continuing therapeutic relationship, and for promoting treatment adherence. In each group, a majority of those interviewed viewed involuntary community treatment in a generally positive light, while acknowledging the restrictions imposed on service users' freedom.
doi:10.1093/bjsw/bch392 fatcat:zjx6ygdko5bmho55u3ux4z3yce