Purpose – Psychiatry and other areas of mental healthcare have a limited reach. According to the National Comorbidity Survey in the USA the majority of people with mental illnesses do not get any professional support. The current “acute care focus” treatment paradigm directs funding toward hospitals, medications and institutions. The purpose of this paper is to explore the appropriateness of this approach. Design/methodology/approach – To assess the acute care focus in mental healthcare, the authors will contrast it with an alternative paradigm of harm reduction. Findings – The authors argue that harm reduction principles based on the experiences of addiction medicine may be an added value to the current system of care along with structural reforms regarding early intervention and community‐focussed care. Originality/value – This discussion paper contributes to a growing body of literature recognizing the inefficiencies of the present acute care centered paradigm in healthcare.
Advances in Dual Diagnosis – Emerald Publishing
Published: May 13, 2014
Keywords: Dual diagnosis; Treatment; Harm reduction; Paradigm shift