Applying Evaluation Knowledge and Operations Research Methods to Planning Mental Health Services: The Case of Housing for Persons Discharged from Psychiatric Inpatient Units in New York City
H. Stephen Leff, Ph.D.
This working paper includes two operations research models for planning the housing component of a mental health system. The paper has three purposes: 1) to bring the models developed, and operations research to those engaged in planning and evaluating housing and other services for persons with mental illness; 2) to show how data from needs assessments, information systems, and outcome evaluations can be used to provide the estimates required by the models outlined in the paper and by models of this type; and 3) to provide insights into the problem of meeting the housing needs of mental ill persons in a metropolitan area. One of the central themes of the paper is that even with incomplete data, operations research methods can provide important policy and planning insights in a timely manner.