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Development and Evaluation of Drop-In Centers Operated by Mental Health Consumers
Caroline L. Kaufmann; Carol Ward-Colasante; John Farmer
Psychiatric Services 1993; doi:
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Work for this paper was conducted under a contract from I CAN in Pennsylvania with support from the Pennsylvania Office of Mental Health and the University of Pittsburgh. The authors thank the mental health consumers and the reviewers for enhancing the content and quality of this paper.

Western Psychiatric Institute and Clinic and the University of Pittsburgh School of Medicine, 3811 O'Hara Street, Iroquois Building, Suite 301, Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania 15213

Bureau of Adult Services of the Pennsylvania Office of Mental Health in Harrisburg

Involved Consumer Action Network in Pennsylvania, located in Philadelphia

1993 by the American Psychiatric Association

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Abstract

As part of a statewide initiative begun in 1989 to promote consumer involvement, the Pennsylvania Office of Mental Health initially funded the development of nine consumer-operated drop-in centers. This paper describes some of the programs and services developed by the centers and presents results of a survey of consumers' use of and satisfaction with services. During the six-month survey period, a total of 478 consumers used services; average daily attendance at each center was 28. Most centers bad one paid position supplemented by heavy use of volunteers. Most projects bad collaborative relationships with a few providers who maintained a low profile in daily operations. Although consumers were highly satisfied with the drop-in centers, they desired improvements in the number of paid staff, hours of operation, management, and transportation.

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