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Welfare Reform on the Web (May 2007): Mental health services - overseas

Improving primary mental health care: impact of a nationwide programme

J.M.C. Heideman and others

Health Policy, vol. 81, 2007, p. 146-154

The need for mental health care is growing due to social change. In response, the Dutch College of General Practitioners and the Dutch National Association of General Practitioners have recently undertaken a nationwide programme to improve the quality of mental health care provided by GPs. This evaluation showed that the programme had little impact on the professional practices of general practitioners with regard to mental health care. This finding challenges the assumption that a bottom up approach to quality improvement is effective. Extensive coordination at a national level and the provision of specific supporting products and services appear to be necessary to achieve improvement.

Mental health care for people of diverse backgrounds

J. D. Buckner and others (editors)

Oxford: Radcliffe, 2007

Mental health care needs vary in different groups of people, but many health care professionals have a poor understanding of exactly how. From ethnicity to sexuality, family to religion, the book examines how cultures can, and should, influence psychological services. It presents both theoretical and practical information regarding assessment, diagnosis and treatment of individuals from diverse populations. It discusses issues such as actual and perceived racism and discrimination of mental health service providers, distrust of the mental health system, and language barriers, all of which may influence the quality of service received by members of diverse groups. Concentrating on empirically based treatments, the book fuses clinical experience and research to give a wide-ranging overview of the subject.

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