Options for Southern Oregon, Inc
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  Philosophical Growth

Since 1999, Options and the Josephine County Mental Health Department have re-examined many of the basic assumptions surrounding the purpose and goals of mental health treatment. What became clear is that many of our treatment modalities were designed to protect and insulate people with severe mental illness from the stresses of day-to-day life.

While this approach appeared to be relatively successful, it created two unintended side effects: it fostered long-term and unnecessary dependence on the mental health system, and it discouraged people from trying to resume their normal community roles such as worker, student, spouse, parent and neighbor. With the help of a Community Action Grant for Service System Change from the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA), Options was able to initiate the process of moving from an illness-based "can't do" approach to a culture of hope, recovery and new possibilities.

To assure that services would be effective in achieving our new goals, several important steps were taken. Two evidence-based practices, one in Supported Employment and the other in Case Management, were chosen as models by Options. Both have proven track records of success, and have been implemented in a variety of community settings across the country. Implementation of these two practices by Options has aligned our treatment programs with this recovery approach.

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