Resources /"A Working Definition of Empowerment" by Judi Chamberlin
"Empowerment" has become a popular term in mental health programs, yet it has lacked a clear definition. In a research project designed to measure empowerment in programs funded by and for mental health services users, we first undertook to come up with a working definition. Key elements of empowerment were identified, including access to information, ability to make choices, assertiveness, and self-esteem. Empowerment has both an individual and a group dimension. Details of the definition are provided, along with a discussion of the implications of empowerment for psychiatric rehabilitation programs.