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Ohio Department of Mental Health
Overview of Emerging Best Practices

The Office of Consumer Services, Ohio Department of Mental Health developed a Recovery Process Model and Emerging Best Practices to define and enhance the quality of mental health services in Ohio. These were developed as a guide to help consumers increase their understanding of their roles in the recovery process and as advocates for the delivery of quality services by competent service providers. The model clarifies what consumers have discovered during their personal recovery journeys about their roles and the roles of others in the recovery process. Additionally, the model and best practices are intended to serve as educational tools for family members/significant others, mental health professionals, administrators, regulators and third-party payers.

As a basis for the development of this model and emerging best practices, recovery is defined as: "a personal process of overcoming the negative impact of a psychiatric disability despite its continued presence."

Individuals who are recovering from mental illness move from a state of dependency to interdependency. Many factors influence their current stage of functioning within the recovery process. Consequently, movement is not linear. The ultimate goals for individuals in the recovery process are to:

bulletreach optimal functioning; and
bulletuse and/or provide support to entities outside the Mental Health System.

During the recovery process, individuals are either aware or unaware of their condition.

This Recovery Process Model accounts for the individualís movement and degree of awareness within and across the following four stages:


In the early nineties, the Ohio Department of Mental Health (ODMH) Community Support Program (CSP) Advisory Committee recognized the right of people with severe mental illness to live in the community and participate in a lifestyle of their choice. These rights are the underpinnings of Recovery. Given this philosophy, the CSP Advisory Committee identified nine essential components that are needed in order for a community to provide effective services and support. These components are incorporated in the model and include:

bulletClinical Care
bulletFamily Support
bullet Peer Support & Relationships
bullet Work/Meaningful Activity
bullet Power & Control
bullet Community Involvement
bullet Access to Resources
bullet Education

For each stage within the recovery process, the status of the consumer and the roles of clinicians and community supports are defined.

Using this dynamic Recovery Process Model, generic and universally applicable practices that influence recovery emerged. These Emerging Best Practices identify preferred behaviors based upon the best available knowledge and consensus of a diverse working group comprised of consumers, family members and mental health professionals. As the impact of these behaviors is measured, it is anticipated that these practices will be refined and/or others will emerge.

In the existing Emerging Best Practices, behavioral statements have been identified for the consumer, clinicians and community across the four levels of recovery and the nine essential components as defined in the Recovery Process Model.

During the recovery process, this model indicates that in order for consumers to function optimally they are dependent upon clinicians, family/significant others and community supports to provide support and/or services that are consistent with the best practices identified. Additionally, consumers must take personal responsibility for managing their recovery by following the best practices as defined. Failure of any of these entities to behave consistently with these best practices could result in consumers: not functioning optimally, taking longer than necessary to reach their optimal level of functioning within and across stages or having unnecessary relapses. Also, the services provided would not be cost-efficient or cost-effective.

Consumers can use these best practices to guide their actions during their recovery, identify the services and/or supports they need and assist them in receiving appropriate services and/or support when they need it.

Clinicians can use these best practices to validate they are providing the appropriate services, at the right time, that will result in the best outcomes. Additionally, these best practices can assist clinicians in providing consistent services and supports to consumers in recovery.

Community supports can use these best practices to determine the resource commitment that is needed to facilitate consumersí recovery in a timely manner.

As new clinical, scientific and technological developments take place, this model and best practice statements will be updated to reflect those changes.

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