PSYCHIATRIC REHABILITATION PROGRAMS
Psychiatric rehabilitation, sometimes called psychosocial rehabilitation, refers to services designed to promote the recovery process for clients with mental illness. This recovery goes beyond symptom control and medica-tion management to include personal growth, reintegra-tion into the community, empowerment, increased inde-pendence, and improved quality of life. Community support programs and services provide psychiatric reha-bilitation to varying degrees, often depending on the resources and funding available. Some programs focus pri-marily on reducing hospital readmissions through symp-tom control and medication management, whereas others include social and recreation services. Too few programs are available nationwide to meet the needs of people with mental illnesses.
Psychiatric rehabilitation has improved client outcomes by providing community support services to decrease hos-pital readmission rates and increase community integra-tion. At the same time, managed care has reduced the “medically necessary” services that are funded. For exam-ple, because skills training was found to be successful in assisting clients in the community, managed care organiza-tions defined psychiatric rehabilitation as only skills train-ing and did not fund other aspects of rehabilitation such as socialization or environmental supports. Clients and providers identified poverty, lack of jobs, and inadequate vocational skills as barriers to community integration, but because these barriers were not included in the “medically necessary” definition of psychiatric rehabilitation by man-aged care, services to overcome these barriers were not funded.