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UBC Theses and Dissertations

An analysis of need assessment in the mental health context Farrally, Vicki Lea


Need assessment methods grew out of the Community Mental Health Centre movement. Developed during a time of rapid expansion of service, there was a focus on providing services matched to the unique needs of a community. In the following years need assessment further developed as a technology and a search began for a "best model'. This paper argues that a "best model' is illusionary, a "best fit' being a more desirable goal. As fiscal constraints have reduced the resources available to consumption Ministries such as Health, need assessment has been increasingly used an allocative tool. Users of the tool, it is argued, must therefore choose their model with care and an understanding of the values and concepts inherent in each model is seen as necessary for intelligent choice. Finally, an examination of the British Columbia mental health context offers an analysis of some of the factors which have and will affect the use of need assessment in this Province

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