The Roles and Relationships of Psychiatrists and Other Service Providers in Mental Health Services Academic Article uri icon


  • A number of the problems facing psychiatry are identified as having common origins in unresolved issues about teamwork. The aim is to identify the issues and to formulate recommendations for dealing with these obstacles.The Royal Australian and New Zealand College of Psychiatrists Professional Liaison Committee (Australia) of the Board of Professional and Community Relations convened a number of meetings and discussions, with external assistance from JW and TT.Much of contemporary mental health care is delivered either directly or indirectly by several persons, often working in teams. Teamwork and collaboration are central to good working relationships and service delivery. Effective teamwork and collaboration is supported by key elements including agreed goals, an agreed approach, effective communication styles, established ground rules, clear team roles, and competent leadership. The obstacles to effective teamwork and collaboration are discussed in terms of the following: ambiguity and conflict over roles; conflict and confusion over leadership; differing understandings of clinical responsibility and accountability; interprofessional misperceptions; and differing rewards between the professions.Developing an understanding of these issues opens the way to a series of recommendations in relation to education, professional organizations, and workplaces and government, which can be considered by a number of sectors and groups.


publication date

  • February 2002