The relevance and implications of organizational involvement for serious mental illness populations

Emily B.H. Treichler, Eric A. Evans, J. Rock Johnson, Mary O'Hare, William D. Spaulding

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

4 Scopus citations


Consumer involvement has gained greater prominence in serious mental illness (SMI) because of the harmonious forces of new research findings, psychiatric rehabilitation, and the recovery movement. Previously conceived subdomains of consumer involvement include physical involvement, social involvement, and psychological involvement. We posit a fourth subdomain, organizational involvement. We have operationally defined organizational involvement as the involvement of mental health consumers in activities and organizations that are relevant to the mental health aspect of their identities from an individual to a systemic level across arenas relevant to mental health. This study surveyed adults with SMI regarding their current level of organizational involvement along with their preferences and beliefs about organizational involvement. Additionally, a path model was conducted to understand the relationships between domains of consumer involvement. Although participants reported wanting to be involved in identified organizational involvement activities and believing it was important to be involved in these kinds of activities, organizational involvement was low overall. The path model indicated that psychological involvement among other factors influence organizational involvement, which informed our suggestions to improve organizational involvement among people with SMI. Successful implementation must be a thoroughly consumer-centered approach creating meaningful and accessible involvement opportunities. Our study and prior studies indicate that organizational involvement and other subdomains of consumer involvement are key to the health and wellbeing of consumers, and therefore greater priority should be given to interventions aimed at increasing these essential domains.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)352-361
Number of pages10
JournalAmerican Journal of Orthopsychiatry
Issue number4
StatePublished - Jul 1 2015


  • Consumer involvement
  • Mental health policy
  • Organizational involvement
  • Recovery movement
  • Serious mental illness

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Developmental and Educational Psychology
  • Arts and Humanities (miscellaneous)
  • Psychology (miscellaneous)
  • Psychiatry and Mental health


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