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

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

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

J. Peters

J. Peters

Max Guttman '08, MSW '12, is the owner of Recovery Now, a private mental health practice. Through his work as a Licensed Clinical Social Worker, therapist and disability rights advocate, Max fights for those without a voice in various New York City care systems. He received a 2020 Bearcats of the Last Decade 10 Under 10 award from the Binghamton University Alumni Association. Guttman treats clients with anxiety and depression, but specializes in issues related to psychosis or schizoaffective spectrum disorders. He frequently writes on his lived experiences with schizophrenia. "I knew my illness was so complex that I’d need a professional understanding of its treatment to gain any real momentum in recovery," Guttman says. "After undergraduate school and the onset of my illness, I evaluated different graduate programs that could serve as a career and mechanism to guide and direct my self-care. After experiencing the helping hand of my social worker and therapist right after my 'break,' I chose social work education because of its robust skill set and foundation of knowledge I needed to heal and help others." "In a world of increasing tragedy, we should help people learn from our lived experiences. My experience brings humility, authenticity and candidness to my practice. People genuinely appreciate candidness when it comes to their health and recovery. Humility provides space for mistakes and appraisal of progress. I thank my lived experience for contributing to a more egalitarian therapeutic experience for my clients."

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