Evidence-Based Practices: Strategies to Help Recover from Mental Illnesses - DHS 4657

The Expectation is Recovery . . .

Evidence-Based Practices State-of-the-Art Strategies to Help Recover from Mental Illnesses

Information About Evidence-Based Practices: State-of-the-Art Strategies to Help Recover from Mental Illnesses

The work of the Division of Mental Health is guided by the vision that all persons with mental illnesses can recover and participate fully in a life in the community.

In order to more effectively provide support for consumers of mental health services, the Division of Mental Health promotes the use of Evidence-Based Practices, or EBPs, by its many affiliated agencies.

Evidence-Based Practices are state-of-the-art techniques that research by organizations such as the Federal Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration has shown to be effective. A person working with mental health professionals and following a course of treatment based upon EBPs can expect to make significant progress toward their treatment goals. Evidence-Based Practices combine research-based information, clinical expertise, and the consumer's own needs and values to work toward recovery. They are approaches that are known to work when properly put into use. The Illinois Department of Human Services' Division of Mental Health strives to make EBPs available throughout the state by providing training and technical assistance to staff who work for the many mental health agencies that are affiliated with the Division.

Ask your mental health provider if the treatment options they offer take advantage of these Evidence-Based Practices

Assertive Community Treatment

Assertive Community Treatment (ACT) programs employ a dynamic team approach to treatment of persons with especially severe mental illnesses, who have experienced multiple hospitalizations, emergency room episodes, homelessness, and, perhaps, time in jail. Rather than receiving services from a number of different agencies, the teams are made up of specialists including a doctor, nurse, social worker, substance abuse specialist, employment specialist, and possibly another consumer with training and similar life experience. ACT teams work closely with the consumer to meet his or her needs, most often in community settings other than a mental health professional's office. This highly personalized treatment is flexible and tailored to each consumer's needs, strengths, culture, and community. In addition to helping a person recover from mental illness, this approach helps consumers improve their quality of life. It also reduces emergencies, hospital stays, and the need for an ongoing reliance on Division of Mental Health service providers.

Illness Management and Recovery

Illness Management and Recovery is an Evidence-Based Practice in which consumers meet weekly with mental health workers to develop personal strategies for promoting wellness in the presence of symptoms in order to live fuller lives. This service helps consumers reduce relapses, cope with stress, navigate the mental health system, and use medication effectively.

Integrated Dual Diagnosis Treatment

Integrated Dual Diagnosis Treatment (IDDT) supports the recovery process of individuals who have both serious mental illnesses and substance abuse problems. This service is provided by a multi-disciplinary team of specially trained mental health staff who provide individualized services such as case management, counseling, and education. The IDDT team also uses other Evidence-Based Practices to create and provide one comprehensive and seamless service. By taking advantage of an approach that integrates mental health and substance abuse treatment, many people with these two disorders are able to recover and live full and meaningful lives with their friends and families.

Family Psychoeducation Programs

Family Psychoeducation Programs help families and friends of persons experiencing mental illnesses understand how to cope and help their loved ones recover. Evidence shows that there is an increased likelihood of recovery when a person receives informed and integrated support from family and close friends. In this Evidence-Based Practice, a consumer's family (as defined by the consumer) meets with his or her mental health professional individually or in groups, and learns about mental illnesses and ways to move toward recovery.

Supportive Employment Programs

Research has shown that being effectively employed can be an important part of mental health treatment.

Supportive Employment Programs help interested consumers find work based on their preferences and abilities. Consumers who choose to seek employment receive the supports they need for as long as they may need them. These supports may include help with interviews, benefits planning, routines and schedules, work relationships, managing and learning from job loss, and finding a better job fit.

In this Evidence-Based Practice, employment specialists work on a team with other mental health professionals to help ensure that both treatment and employment are used to promote recovery.

Medication Algorithms

Medication Algorithms combine scientific evidence and individualized attention to help consumers manage mental health medications. Through close monitoring, careful documentation, and analysis, medical professionals help consumers make the best possible decisions about their use of medication and how it fits into their recovery program.

Illinois Department of Human Services' Division of Mental Health

The work of the Illinois Department of Human Services' Division of Mental Health is guided by the vision that all persons with mental illnesses can recover and participate fully in a life in the community. The Division is responsible for ensuring that children, adolescents, and adults in need have access to publicly funded mental health services.

In work involving the mental health of children, the primary focus is on prevention of mental illnesses. Early intervention designed to alter the factors in a person's life that could lead to a mental illness, coupled with strategies for building the resilience needed to maintain good mental health, can be highly effective.

Mental health care is available throughout Illinois. The state is divided into five regions, with mental health services available through 162 community mental health centers and agencies, more than 30 community hospitals with psychiatric units, and nine state-operated hospitals.

The Division works closely with other state agencies in doing its best to ensure that those who need help will receive it from well-trained, highly professional, and compassionate people. Throughout the state's mental health system, many care providers employ Evidence-Based Practices, approaches that have been shown, through research, to be highly effective.

Services are recovery oriented, community focused, and attuned to the culture of the person receiving care.

More information about the services provided by the Illinois Department of Human Services' Division of Mental Health is available online at www.dhs.state.il.us/page.aspx?item=29728 or by calling 800-843-6154.

People with mental health emergencies should call 911 or their local mental health provider.

Emerging Practices

In addition to its use of Evidence-Based Practices, the Division of Mental Health, where appropriate, uses an array of "emerging practices." These are services being used in pilot projects or selected sites that show strong benefit and great potential.

Wellness Recovery Action Plan (WRAP)

WRAP promotes self-management of mental illnesses and addictions. It helps people monitor, reduce, modify, or eliminate symptoms. Recovery Support Specialists have been specially trained to help consumers develop WRAP plans and connect with other mental health services. The Recovery Support Specialists are staff members who are themselves living in recovery from mental illnesses and perhaps also substance use disorders.

Behavior Training

Parent-focused interventions focus on increasing parental consistency, structure and attentiveness to positive behaviors, while reducing harsh discipline and attention to negative behaviors.

Cognitive Therapy

This therapeutic approach evaluates how immediate and enduring biological, social, cognitive and behavioral factors interact in placing children at risk, and it uses this information to guide the selection of treatment strategies.

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DHS website: www.dhs.state.il.us

Programs, activities and employment opportunities in the Illinois Department of Human Services are open and accessible to any individual or group without regard to age, sex, race, sexual orientation, disability, ethnic origin or religion. The department is an equal opportunity employer and practices affirmative action and reasonable accommodation programs.

DHS 4657 (R-04-10) DHS/DMS Evidence-Based Practices
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