Psychiatric rehabilitation involves providing services to people with severe and persistent mental illness to help them to live in the community. These programs are often called community support services or community support programs. Psychiatric rehabilitation focuses on the client’s strengths, not just on his or her illness. The client actively participates in program planning. The programs are designed to help the client manage the illness and symp-toms, gain access to needed services, and live successfully in the community.
These programs assist clients with activities of daily liv-ing such as transportation, shopping, food preparation, money management, and hygiene. Social support and interpersonal relationships are recognized as a primary need for successful community living. Psychiatric reha-bilitation programs provide opportunities for socializa-tion, such as drop-in centers and places where clients can go to be with others in a safe, supportive environment. Vocational referral, training, job coaching, and support are available for clients who want to seek and maintain employment. Community support programs also provide education about the client’s illness and treatment and help the client to obtain health care when needed.
Lecomte, Wallace, Perreault, and Caron (2005) empha-size the importance of including the client in identifying rehabilitation goals. There is often a disparity betweenwhat health-care professionals view as the client’s needs and what the client perceives as valuable. Offering services that meet each client’s most important goals can signifi-cantly improve his or her quality of life and promote recov-ery and well-being.