The Benefits and Limitations of OMH Prescribed Treatment in Mental Health Settings

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Clinicians, you’ve heard this before… & hopefully, you know the rules.

Depending on your program, the office of mental health prescribes rules for the practice of treatment. The rules encompass the way we document, carry out treatment, and even bleed into the philosophy of care and implementing of practice at our workplaces. Having a set formula for the way operations and treatment are carried out in the mental health setting is paramount for the foundation of care necessary to get treatment off the ground. But is the prescribed treatment what’s necessary to care for a full range of diagnoses, social, systemic, and institutional problems. We will explore this are more during this blog entry on mental health.

The benefits are obvious: predictability, consistency, & evidence based practice requires treatment to reliable & reproducible if there if our treatment venues are to ever house research experiments. Research is vital and so is evidenced-based treatment but is the prescribed treatment a must in order to drive quality and effective treatment forward in mental health?

I am a clinician with lived experience who has been exposed to several treatment settings as a peer and professional. What’s missing is that special touch, that lining to care that sails beyond the golden thread and returns unscathed. I call it Special Projects. It’s a division of care that dares to explore the irrational, unknown; and have the confidence to justify billing to keep the program running and eligible for state funding.

This is done by asking a few questions reflectively: 1) Why is the treatment the same here as down the street? 2) What can I offer my client that stands apart from past providers? 3) Who am I working with and how do the regulations of OMH complicate the best care possible for my client? 4) How do I make it all work?

First as an individual, then as a team, and ultimately with your clients and their families. Yes, at the root, this a person-centered philosophy and practice and keeps the uniqueness of people at the heart of treatment. It’s a choice to be different in cookie cutter clinic formulae.

I don’t know about you, but I didn’t train to work on an assembly line unless that was what was going to cure my client. But let’s be real, people are all different, let’s find the right fit tomorrow for your clients using Special Projects guided work.

Edited: Autumn Tompkins

About the Author

J. Peters

J. Peters is the Editor-in-Chief of Mental Health Affairs.

Award-winning book author and Bold 10 Under ten award recipient J. Peters, LCSW. Through his work as a Licensed Clinical Social Worker. Mental health therapist and disability rights advocate Mr. Peters fights for those without a voice in various care systems, such as the New York City Department of Social Services, the New York State Office of Mental Health, or the city's Department of Corrections.

Mr. Peter's battle with Schizophrenia began at New London University in his last semester of college. Discharged from Greater Liberty State Hospital Center in July 2008, Jacque's recovery was swift but not painless and indeed brutal after spending six months there.

He has published several journal articles on recovery and mental health and three books: University on Watch, Small Fingernails, and Wales High School. He is also a board member of the newspaper City Voices. Mr. Peters currently sits on the CAB committee (Consumer Advisory Board) for the Department of Mental Health and Hygiene in NYC and the Office of Mental Health (OMH) as a peer advocate.

Owner of Recovery Now in New York, a private psychotherapy practice, Mr. Peter's approach is rooted in a foundation of evidence-based practices (EBP). Jacques earned a master's degree in Social Work from Binghamton University and worked as a field instructor for master's and bachelor's level students in NYC.

He is blogging daily on his site mentalhealthaffairs.blog, Mr. Peters regularly writes articles relating to his lived experience with a mental health diagnosis.

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