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Patient and family support organizations for Axis I disorders have grown exponentially and expanded their services over the past two decades. However, psychiatrists generally have not referred patients and families to these organizations. The goal of this paper is to change clinicians' behavior so that they more commonly include support organization services in treatment plans for patients and families. We performed a literature review focusing on the changing needs of patients and their families as they relate to mental health teams, changes in the family therapy field, and concerns of both healthcare providers and related organizations about referral. Abundant anecdotal evidence and some scientific data suggest that patients and families are satisfied with these support organizations and the services they provide. However, support organizations need clinician referrals in order for their services to be integrated into a multi-modal quality treatment plan to achieve full treatment efficacy.

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