June 09, 2005

AIMhi: Patient Involvement in Treatment

Read more... Schizophrenia Coping

The long road to recovery

The New Zealand-based AIMhi project is an innovative effort which allows patients to get involved with their own treatment plans. Patients collaborate with their case managers, and together they decide the patient's goals. This seems to be a new way of looking at mental health, one that empowers the patient by allowing him/her to get involved with treatment.

Consider Samantha Seymour's story, a woman who "was diagnosed with schizophrenia," four years ago. At that time, she heard "voices speaking, laughing, arguing and singing." Mrs. Seymour thought that she "was being followed by people who were trying to kill (her)." Then, her solution was to only "leave her home" accompanied by "someone she trusted." At one point, she had "locked herself in her room for two months. Now, Mrs Seymour is rebuilding her life," by "participating in a study which could revolutionise mental health."

Under the AIMhi project, patients with mental health disorders become more involved in their own treatment.Patients work with case managers to identify goals and steps to reach them."We have to write everything down, what our thoughts were, how we felt," she said.The paperwork enables Mrs Seymour to revise her goals, which boosts her confidence and makes her feel less afraid. This also helps her complete her homework, which she admits at times is difficult.

For more information about the AIMhi project:


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