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Unread January 18th, 2005, 11:19 AM
William Reid William Reid is offline
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Join Date: Jul 2004
Location: Texas
Posts: 105
Default Re: Client vs. Patient

Hey, don't blame this on psychiatrists! :-) We are about 98% against "consumer," and probably well over 50% against "client" when referring to individual patients. If one is speaking of large groups economically, or, I suppose, politically, other terms may be more descriptive in some contexts, but it's a slippery slope.

I think I've already mentioned, in a much earlier post, a well-known senior Clinton (the U.S. President just before George W., for those living on desert islands) appointee with bipolar disorder who openly says the terms "patient" and "mental illness" help people (including legislatures, funding agencies, and managed care organizations) take mental illness seriously and place it on a par with other medical issues (cf., funding parity efforts, which are hurt by separating our "clients" or "consumers" from other clinicians' "patients").

"Consumer," "recipient" (used in Illinois), and to some extent "client" tend to trivialize serious mental disorders and their treatment, and place them in a much less fundable (arguably throwaway) category like "behavioral health" or "problems in living." That's not good for access to clinical care, funding for care, or both individual or public recognition of the need to recognize and vigorously treat many mental illnesses.

Thanks for listening.
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