Mental health is one of the pillars of our overall well-being. However, mental wellness isn’t always easy to achieve.
If someone is struggling, a mental health care plan can help them take steps towards gaining control and recovery. These plans are highly personalized and tailored to each patient. Everyone’s treatment needs are different, thus, a plan for one person may not be adequate for another person’s needs.
If you’ve reached this step of your treatment and need advice on how to proceed, here are five steps to help create an effective mental health care plan:
1. Contact a Professional
Seek the guidance of a professional that has been trained and educated in dealing with mental health conditions. Psychiatrists, psychologists and therapists are some of the professionals that have specialized knowledge and skills that are essential for constructing a mental health care plan.
Our previous article on picking a good therapist covered several factors to look out for when seeking professional help, including expertise and credentials. Knowing how to form a team of trusted, qualified professionals will lead to a superior quality of treatment, and increase your chances for a successful recovery.
2. Get a Diagnosis
An accurate diagnosis is crucial to the care of a patient because it sets the direction for which procedures, methods, diagnostics, and medications are needed in order to recover.
To arrive at a diagnosis, a mental health professional will typically begin with the patient’s history to assess what the proper and accurate diagnosis is. Hence, it is crucial that you’re honest about your condition and history so that the physician can give you the most accurate diagnosis. That diagnosis will be the basis for your treatment plan.
3. Assessing Needs
Every patient has different needs. Patients with the same diagnosis can have different needs and different treatment plans based on the assessment of medical professionals. An accurate assessment comes from having a well-rounded team that fully understands the patient’s personal information, psychological history and current mental health diagnosis.
Getting a personalized treatment plan as based on these assessed needs is crucial to recovery, although it may cost you more in time and resources.
4. Set Measurable Goals
A reachable and achievable goal is necessary for each treatment plan. Once you consent to the treatment plan, you and the mental health care team will work together to achieve wellness goals and track your progress on the road to recovery.
Treatment plans don’t need to be set in stone either, so if you’re struggling with yours don’t see it as a failure. If the original goals aren’t met, the treatment plan may be adjusted accordingly, with reference to your response to the earlier plan.
5. Continuous Consultations
As you progress on your road to recovery, changes may occur in your situation which could warrant additional medical attention. Therefore, continuous consultations, regular check-ins and updates with the medical team are important for monitoring purposes and to avoid emergency situations.
Continuous consultations is also one of the most important aspects of a mental health care plan. This is where the medical team discusses your progress, assesses developments, and coordinates plans for improvement. To maximize the strength of a recovery plan, some teams will include the presence of a caregiver, a nurse, or a prescriber.
A certified nurse practitioner will have training in psychiatric-mental health diagnosis and management, and they can help a you plan aspects of your recovery in coordination with a doctor specializing in mental health. Staying in contact with a certified NP can give you continuous access to professional insights and easy to understand interpretations.
Road to Recovery
The path to recovery begins with admitting that something is wrong and that you need help. If you suffer from mental health issues, you deserve a chance to recover and get your life back. A mental health care plan plays a key role in this recovery.
While based on research, these five tips are for guidance purposes only. If you or your loved ones have a mental illness, please seek professional advice from mental health experts for proper evaluation and management.
Article written by Ruth Jefer