Collaboration with consumers and caregivers

Priority: Enhance the involvement of psychologists and other health-care professionals with consumers, families and caregivers in planning, implementing and evaluating health-care initiatives

Professionals, consumers, families and caregivers all serve as essential members of the health-care team.

Efforts to improve our nation's health-care system must reflect the invaluable contributions of each of these groups.

  • Demand for therapy. According to the National Institute of Mental Health, more than 30 million Americans need help dealing with their feelings and coping with problems that seem beyond their control.
  • Caregivers' mental health. Family caregivers of stroke patients who can no longer communicate or feed themselves face higher risk of depression, according to a 2009 study in Rehabilitation Psychology. Plus, their depression can affect the people for whom they care. In fact, stroke patients with depressed caregivers don't function as well as those with mentally healthy caregivers.