Date of Award


Degree Name

Master of Arts



First Advisor

Dr. Roger E. Ulrich

Second Advisor

Dr. David Lyon

Third Advisor

Dr. Galen Alessi

Access Setting

Masters Thesis-Open Access



The general purpose of the present paper is to analyze community mental health services in Michigan with respect to the responsiveness of the system to the target community. In order to accomplish this goal, several variables must be considered.

First, historical precedents of the current mental health system will be examined to determine the responsibilities of the system to the citizenry. Both legislative mandates and informal recommendations will be reviewed. Second, the methodologies available for community need assessment and citizen-system communication will be summarized in terms of their utility for increasing citizen control of service planning. Third, an actual need assessment study will be presented in order to provide an example of the use of existing methods. In addition to the procedures used to collect data for the study, a number of environmental variables will be discussed. These variables include: the relationship between the scientist and the target community; the rapport of the agency sponsoring the study with the community; and historical events which may affect the cooperation between these entities in a determination of need. Need assessment data will be summarized and recommendations for services will be given on the basis of the data. The paper will conclude with: an examination of the problems encountered during the course of the study; an analysis of barriers to the sensitivity of the mental health system to target community conditions; and suggestions for improvement of the current approach to service provision.

Included in

Psychology Commons