Thursday, July 10, 2008

From CMH News



Cash and Counseling Program Works Well for Mental Health Consumers

A recent study published in The Gerontologist examined how Cash and Counseling---a self-directed care approach allowing consumers to choose and pay for services and supports---meets their personal care needs and affects their well being. Comparisons involving elderly consumers with and without mental health diagnoses who had been a part of the Cash and Counseling Demonstration Evaluation in Arkansas were done. Several outcome measures were examined including satisfaction with care arrangements and the paid caregiver’s reliability and schedule, unmet needs, and satisfaction with the relationship with the paid caregiver.

Researchers found that Cash and Counseling works well for persons with mental health diagnoses. In fact, those with mental health diagnoses who participated in Cash and Counseling fared better than those receiving traditional treatment.  A consumer-directed service option can be a valuable alternative for persons with mental health needs.

See for further information on the study---Does Mental Illness Affect Consumer Direction of Community-Based Care?  Lessons From the Arkansas Cash and Counseling Program, The Gerontologist, Vol. 48, No. 1 pp. 93-104.  Partial funding for the development of this article came from the Administration on Aging and the Assistant Secretary for Planning and Evaluation of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services.


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Norman DeLisle, MDRC
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