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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

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