New York State has just joined the movement for evidenced-based best practices in a big way. The state is currently developing the Evidence-Based Practice Technical Assistance Center (EBP-TAC) to help upgrade New York State’s mental health services. The State Office of Mental Health (OMH) and Columbia Medical Center’s New York State Psychiatric Institute (NYSPI) are collaborating to “improve mental health services, insure accountability, and promote recovery-oriented outcomes for consumers and families,” according to a press release from (State of New York OMH, 2008). It’s hoped that improved physical health outcomes for people with major mental health disorders, a serious issue, will also be a result.
The Center will offer a broad array of services within New York State, such as clinical training support, public education, consensus-building, outcome evaluation and more. “We know that with appropriate treatment and supports, recovery from mental illness is possible. We also know that there are treatments and interventions that have been documented by scientific research to be effective, but oftentimes they are not being provided to individuals with mental illness,” stated OMH Commissioner Michael F. Hogan, PhD (State of New York, 2008).
So far, the center has been helping agencies implement Wellness Self Management (WSM), a curricula revised from the SAMHSA-sponsored evidence-based Illness Management and Recovery (IMR) Toolkit which focused on “knowledge about mental illness, reducing relapses and rehospitalizations, coping more effectively and reducing distress from symptoms and using medications more effectively” (SAMSHA, 2003).
The WSM includes a consumer workbook and education for supervisors and clinicians, but these are not yet available online. The good news for practitioners who need help now with people who have serious mental health issues is that SAMHSA does have a document called Recovering Your Mental Health: A Self-Help Guide and other recovery and wellness resources online, in addition to several best practice toolkits for this population in downloadable formats.
© Copyright 2008 by Jolyn Wells-Moran, PhD, MSW, therapist in Seattle, Washington. All Rights Reserved. Permission to publish granted to GoodTherapy.org.
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