Outsourcing mental health care services? The practice and potential of community-based farms in psychiatric rehabilitation

S.C. Iancu, M.B.M. Zweekhorst, D.J. Veltman, A.J.L.M. van Balkom, J.G.F. Bunders-Aelen

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Psychiatric rehabilitation supports individuals with mental disorders to acquire the skills needed for independent lives in communities. This article assesses the potential of outsourcing psychiatric rehabilitation by analysing care farm services in the Netherlands. Service characteristics were analysed across 214 care farms retrieved from a national database. Qualitative insights were provided by five case descriptions, selected from 34 interviews. Institutional care farms were significantly larger and older than private care farms (comprising 88.8 % of all care farms). Private, independent care farms provide real-life work conditions to users who are relatively less impaired. Private, contracted care farms tailor the work activities to their capacities and employ professional supervisors. Institutional care farms accommodate for the most vulnerable users. We conclude that collaborations with independent, contracted and institutional care farms would provide mental health care organizations with a diversity in services, enhanced community integration and a better match with users’ rehabilitation needs.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)175-184
Number of pages9
JournalCommunity Mental Health Journal
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 2015

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