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Creating a better future for communities through research

Recovery Focused Case Management

May 19, 2010

In 2005, the Support Coordination Management Committee of Waterloo-Wellington-Dufferin embarked on a mental health system change initiative towards a recovery focused approach to case management.

The initiative, which was funded by the Ministry of Health and Long-Term Care, promotes the involvement of mental health service users in identifying their personal recovery goals, and developing and implementing their own recovery plans in collaboration with case managers.

An evaluation of this initiative was conducted by the Centre for Community Based Research (CCBR). The evaluation, which began in 2008, was based on an evaluation framework developed by CCBR in collaboration with service users and service providers in the region.

The findings of the evaluation indicated that a recovery focused approach to case management has had a positive impact at multiple levels of the mental health system in the Waterloo and Wellington-Dufferin regions. Mental health service organizations are connecting and collaborating more often than they have in the past, and are using a common language around recovery in designing and delivering supports and services.

Most importantly, the evaluation demonstrated that mental health service users who are engaging in recovery planning are experiencing better outcomes compared to service users who are not. Service users who are engaged in recovery planning feel more empowered, they are more involved in their communities, they feel more confident in themselves, and have higher hopes for the future.

These findings indicated that this system-wide approach to improving support coordination has been very innovative and holds great promise for all mental health service users. The findings also highlight the potential of adopting a recovery focused approach in other mental health systems and services.

For more information about this project, you can obtain a project summary here

Or access an abridged version of the evaluation report here

For more detailed information about development of the systems change initiative and the evaluation project and findings go to the May 2010 updated full report.

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