Saturday, May 17

Can Health Care learn from Mental Health how to design health care around clients/patients?

In the middle of my high tech career I was a special needs housing developer (for people who were living with mental illness, homeless, living with AIDS, chronic alcoholics etc) and the key to our projects was the provision of services that were designed by and for the clients.. 

In King County (Seattle) we have 10+1 Foundational Principles that I have tried to incorporate into the wonky world of health IT as a trojan horse into healthcare. 

10 + 1 Fundamental Components of Recovery

  1. Self-Direction : People lead, control, and find their own path of recovery with providers as partners.

  2. Individualized & Person-Centered : Everyone's unique path toward recovery is supported.

  3. Empowerment : People choose from a range of options and participate in all decisions affecting their lives.

  4. Holistic : Services support the person's whole life; mental health, substance issues, physical health, spirituality, community, housing, employment, education, creativity, having friends and family support.

  5. Non-Linear Recovery is a process of growth, that can include setbacks and learning from experience.

  6. Strengths-Based : Services focus on valuing and building on people's strengths, resiliencies, talents, coping skills, and interests.

  7. Peer Support : People receiving services help each other on their recovery journeys. Peers can become providers with training.

  8. Respect : Acceptance and appreciation of everyone including: protecting individual rights and eliminating discrimination and stigma.

  9. Responsibility : Everyone has a personal responsibility for their self care and recovery.

  10. Hope : Everyone, their families, friends, providers and others encourages the belief that people can and do recover.
Adapted from "The 10 Fundamental Components of Recovery" as identified by Substance Abuse Mental Health Services Administration.
+ 1. ResiliencyThe ability to "bounce back" after difficult experiences. Everyone has the ability to develop resiliency.


In 2004, over 110 experts participated in a conference to come to consensus on the fundamental requirements of recovery. Participants included mental health consumers, family members, providers, advocates, researchers, academicians, managed care representatives, accreditation organization representatives, state and local public officials, and others.

The Recovery Transformation Grant received by the State of Washington has added "Resiliency". Click on each of the Fundamentals for a full description and for more information.

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