What is self-direction?
Self-direction is an individual-based approach aimed at helping people accomplish set goals. This approach has been adopted in different facets and among varying populations. At the onset, it was applied to elderly participants and patients suffering from brain injury.
More recently, the approach has also been successfully adopted in the treatment of people with mental health issues and behavioral or substance addictions. Reports indicate that in the US, over three hundred programs and more than a million participants have gotten involved in different forms of self-direction treatments.
A self-direction program operates by the assignment of a particular support worker to a participant to help the participant establish goals and develop an action plan. It also involves personal meetings for a minimum of once in a month, and reviews held at regular intervals over the program’s duration.
The participants are given the liberty to personally set their recovery goals. They also get support from a brokerage in addition to getting taught budget management skills. This is because financial support is considered an integral part of this program.
A lot of people suffering from mental or substance use disorder have financial issues that tend to hold them back. Thus, their medical and dental bills, as well as their transport expenses, are covered by this allocated budget. Research indicates that this strategy helps them scale hurdles like difficulty in accessing relevant healthcare services which is a common hindrance for people who have a mental illness.
The pillar principles of this self-direction strategy are the promotion of recovery, self-sufficiency, independence, individual strengths and choice.
Dynamics of Self-direction
Most traditional facilities primarily focus on reducing the symptoms experienced by people with mental health issues and a substance or behavior addiction, and that goal is well-founded. However, addressing other issues is equally as important to help them work on their recovery. Other issues that need to be looked into include financial difficulties, trauma from past experiences and self-esteem issues.
However, the goals of most rehab facilities are always predetermined and people who do not respond well to attaining the goals are not considered to be responding well to treatment.
Self-direction doesn’t work that way. It begins from where the individual is rather than where the facility expects the individual to be. This approach is more effective as it doesn’t particularly have failure as its end result. In essence, the individual isn’t a passive participant but is rather actively involved in all the treatment processes.
How Effective Are Self-direction Programs?
Although research into this program is limited, early data indicates that it is actually quite effective. Media outlets report that New York has provided funding for self-direction programs as an alternative modern recovery technique.
The findings of the study indicate that when compared with participants of other traditional approaches, self-direction programs’ participants are more likely to record positive housing and employment outcomes, and have lesser inpatient and outpatient mental health bills.
This indicates that participants in self-direction programs are not much of an economic burden on a long-term basis since their treatment largely requires mental health services that are not as specialized as those of other treatments. In addition, these participants can also make active contributions to the society by getting jobs and securing housing. On the individual level, the positive effects it has on their persons are also numerous as it helps build them up.
Self-direction programs have a lot to contribute to the improvement of the traditional programs. In turn, this approach isn’t only beneficial to the individual, but also has a lot to offer the facility in terms of better outcomes and happier clients. It also benefits the entire community as it helps in the making of better citizens. Using a single approach for the different types of mental health issues or addiction issues is already outdated. A self-direction approach will, thus, be a better and more effective alternative.
An honest appraisal of personal goals and hopes and a subsequent search for persons capable of supporting those goals can be an ideal first step for anyone interested in beating any addiction. Decide if there is anything in your life you will like to change, and it may turn out that such is a cause of your addiction and not a symptom. Addressing this particular thing can ultimately help improve your well-being and edge you closer to your recovery.