MYOB: Symposium Participants Debate Privacy, Confidentiality and the Appropriate Use of Mental Health Information

The Carter Center, an Atlanta-based nonprofit organization working to promote peace and health worldwide, held three Rosalynn Carter Annual Symposium on Mental Health Policy from 1995 through 1997.

Each two-day symposium held under this project laid out diverse interests and viewpoints that came under the scrutiny of approximately 200 participants, who then attempted to find areas of consensus and point to opportunities for collaboration.

Key Results

  • "Managing Care in the Public Interest" Symposium, November 1995

    • Symposium participants developed and set forth five principles, policies, or practices necessary to ensure that managed care evolves to serve the public interest:
      • Partnership among stakeholders, including consumers.
      • Universal access to comprehensive, integrated systems of care.
      • Development of treatment standards.
      • Responsible financial practices.
      • Outcome-driven services, benefits, and plans.
  • "Mental Health and Mental Illness in the Workplace: Healthy Employees/Healthy Companies" Symposium, November 1996

    • Symposium participants reached consensus on three features of the workplace that can affect the health of employees and businesses and can be evaluated:
      • A high-morale, low-stigma environment.
      • A mental health and wellness program that offers a description of benefits, promotions, education, and management training.
      • Policies that prevent harassment of employees.
  • "Privacy and Confidentiality and the Appropriate Use of Mental Health Information" Symposium, November 1997

    • Symposium participants reached consensus on three principles:
      • Consumers have the right to see and amend their own records if they believe there are errors.
      • People have a right to know how their records are being used and by whom.
      • Strict penalties should be in place for violation of confidentiality rules.