Left behind by reform: the case for improving primary care and mental health system services for people with moderate mental illness.

Carolyn S Dewa, David A. Rochefort, Joy Rogers, Paula Goering

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

12 Scopus citations


In this paper, we present a case for improving services to meet the needs of people with moderate mental illness (MMI). We begin by outlining the evolution of mental health reform and its current tendency toward excluding this population. We offer a working definition for MMI and systematically explain why individuals with moderate mental illnesses deserve increased attention and resources within both the mental health system and general medical settings. Some of the 'best practices' on a strategic programme level that can be used to serve people with MMI most effectively are discussed. Making MMI a priority involves reorienting clinical as well as programmatic approaches to address the needs of the population with these disorders. Systems-level financial, structural and manpower supply issues are crucial; challenging government to become a key player in developing a more collaborative model of physical and mental health care. Private health and mental health organisations, professional groups and individual users of services must also commit themselves to recognising the problem of MMI and respond to it more effectively.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)43-54
Number of pages12
JournalApplied Health Economics and Health Policy
Issue number1
StatePublished - 2003
Externally publishedYes


ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Economics and Econometrics
  • Health Policy

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