From Treatment Compliance to Personal Choice
The CASD conducts research aimed at promoting choice and full engagement in services that help people with serious mental illnesses achieve their recovery goals. The CASD leads the field in the conceptualization, development, and dissemination of innovative research methods, analytic approaches, and interventions aimed at promoting self-determination and service participation.
Center Values and Principles
1) People in recovery have life goals like everyone else. People in recovery have the same life goals as other adults in their culture including enjoying comfortable housing, building intimate relationships, and developing meaningful careers. Attaining these goals is basic to a quality life.
2) Numerous traditional and non-traditional services and supports are available to help people achieve their goals. There are mental health services and supports which help people attain these goals; they include medication and a variety of community-based, psychosocial interventions. Also important are less traditional practices focusing on natural therapies, peer-based supports, and spiritual/artistic pursuits.
3) Shift paradigm from compliance to personal choice like anyone else. The primary and essential factor guiding service participation is self-determination. People choose whether services are appropriate for their specific goals, they determine the format of these services, and they consider when they have run their course. Self-determination extends beyond personal plans to include active consumer participation in the identification and development of traditional and alternative community-based programs used across a mental health system.
4) Involvement of those affected by the person’s choices is highly valued, but ultimate choice remains with the person. The exigencies of other groups of stakeholders may be relevant; these may include nuclear or extended family, friends, or members of one’s faith-based community. However, final decisions about life goals and related services and supports rest solely with the person.
5) Research process will parallel a self-determined service participation process. Research is considered in light of current sociopolitical systems and policies that may enhance self-determination but, more likely, will restrict it. Consistent with the Center’s emphasis on self-determination, all CASD research will be conducted using the principles and practices of community-based participatory research, with people in recovery as essential agents in the process.
6) Develop the next generation of “Service Participation” researchers. In addition to carrying out research, the Center will train and mentor a next generation of investigators (including consumer investigators) to pursue research on these topics.
7) Research needs to result in usable and impactful products. Products of CASD research will inform advocates of all kinds. We especially intend to examine and/or develop specific strategies that enhance self-determination.