In the interest of advancing recovery and improving the lives of individuals with serious mental illness, MHA implemented a highly innovative intervention called It's My Life: Social Self-Directed Care that combines the evidence-based practices of Peer Support and Psychiatric Rehabilitation and the emerging best practices of Self-Directed Care and Life Coaching into an integrated skill and support strategy to help people build networks of friends and intimate relationships. Success in this area has proven to be a major breakthrough for some of the most isolated, misunderstood members of our communities. Participants are accompanied on their recovery journeys by trained Life Coaches who help them bridge the gap to a larger social world. This project promotes social inclusion so individuals feel less isolated which helps to increase self-esteem and self-worth. This in turn improves overall functioning with networks that include supportive and sustainable relationships that will increase their quality of life while reducing crisis events and hospitalizations. Ultimately, this project assists the participants in setting and reaching social and personal goals.
MHA conducted three training webinars in fall 2015 to train organizations on how to implement It's My Life: Social Self-Directed Care in their communities. These webinars are open to the public.
In addition to the original SSDC program, MHA also developed a group-based version of the program called It's My Life: Peer Partners.
Mental Health America thanks Janssen Pharmaceuticals for their support in making this program possible. For more information about this program, please contact Patrick Hendry, Vice President of Peer Advocacy, Supports, and Services, at [email protected].