African Journal of Psychiatry

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Standards for the mental health care of people with severe psychiatric disorders in South Africa: Part 1. Conceptual issues

Lauren Muller, Alan J Flisher


Part one describes conceptual issues underlying the development of South African standards for people with severe psychiatric disorders. Mental health care standards seek to describe what is an acceptable and adequate quality of mental health care for service users. A focus on service quality is especially crucial in resource constraint contexts. Standards are essential tools for quality assurance, advocacy and rights protection, capacity and management development and dialogue. They should be appropriate, useful and patient-centred, and operationalise local policy and legislation. Mental health standards are a challenge to define, and need to combine both a consumer and rights based approach. International and local standards and views were adapted and included in order to develop these standards which should be applicable, measurable and gradable across all South African contexts.

Keywords: standards, mental health care, South Africa, conceptual

South African Psychiatry Review Vol. 8(4) 2005: 140-145
AJOL African Journals Online