Allies in Recovery: The Point Person 

Therapists, Case and Care managers come and go, but your recovery must go on and continue through staff changes with your provider and mental health agency. This article is intended to help readers select a point person within their natural supports networks that will carry the torch beyond the limits of your provider. As always, please discuss the tools and strategies in this article before implementing them in your living environment.

We believe in our therapists to help us make the right decisions for our care, and as discussed in previous articles, essentially need to, for the therapeutic relationship to be effective in our recovery. Unfortunately for persons carrying a mental health diagnosis that’s chronic and persistent, your recovery will witness several therapists come, go, and move on in their careers, even retire, while you are still journeying through the recovery process. You’re therapist may have a role in transitioning you to a new provider, but ultimately, you will need to understand and navigate the mental health system with enough savvy to select the right provider or even a new agency at times that will be the best fit for your recovery depending on your circumstances (e.g insurance, geography, diagnosis, available treatment options). Ultimately, you will benefit from a point person to direct and assist you with selecting the right provider when your therapist transfers or discharges you from their care.

Care and Case Managers are excellent point people while they are active service providers in your recovery. However, this service provider, both the person providing case management, and the agency can change hands several times during the tenure of your recovery. After the rise of Care Management, Health Homes, and the statewide shift away from Intensive Case Management Services with changes in Managed Medicaid, you can expect periodic changes to whom will be providing services and episodic changes in he programs capacity to provide the necessary teeth to carry the torch of your recovery beyond transitions in your provider. While there is no question that this service also has a global picture of your support networks and care providers, do not rely on this service to carry you you through gaps in care unless family or friends are unavailable to do so.

Family and friends most likely makes up the best pool of possible point people to select from among all your service providers and allies vested in your recovery. When you feel like a family member won’t make a great point person, choose a friend, but choose someone whom will be present and active in your recovery and accepting of the implications of diagnosis. The point person will need to possess certain qualities and have a very special relationship with you. He or she will need to be able to be present for you at times when you may not be present for yourself. That means a point person may need to be comfortable making decisions on your behalf, medical, psychiatric, legal, and other aspects of your life including housing and treatment options. Ultimately, this is a very special relationship in which the point person will need to know him or herself as much as you and your history, and navigate boundaries between you and your supports to make it all work out in everybody’s best interest at all times.

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