Funder by the Department of Human Services Auspiced by Our Community

Help Sheet

An introduction to the idea of a Consumer Developed Initiative (CDI)

1. Philosophy

The philosophy behind our commitment to Consumer Developed Initiatives: (CDIs) is primarily that people diagnosed with mental illness,

2. Principles

There are four primary principles that guide our commitment to CDIs:

3. Difference between a CDI and CDS and why we are using the term CDI

Originally we were funded to provide a resource centre for Consumer Delivered Services (CDS). Early on, we decided to change the title to Consumer Developed Initiatives. There were several reasons for doing this.

4. Scope

Initiatives can be tiny and they can be quite ambitious. We wanted CDIs to reflect this. Community Developed Initiative is a useful term because it widens the legitimate activity of groups. Our agenda for widening the scope is threefold:

5. Multi-interest initiatives

Groups don't need to be only one thing. For example:

A group that originally started out as a support group for people with a diagnosed mental illness might be interested in certain mental health issues as well as involved in other artistic, musical, political, civic or community concerns. This is the very essence if an initiative rather than a service. Nonetheless, there is no reason why one or several initiatives of the group might not be services of various kinds - servicing the community, the sector, local schools or the local library.

The final reason that we wanted to use the term Consumer Developed Initiatives is that it does not (as a Consumer Delivered Service does) imply that the activities that take place involve only people who use mental health services of one kind or another. Many might but others need to feel invited and included. This term allows for the inclusion of a diverse range of people, for example:

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