There are many different definitions of collaborative care, but the essential component is shared decision making between a clinician and patient. Because DBSA believes such shared decision-making is vital to achieving wellness, we support initiatives that foster open dialogues between people who live with mood disorders and clinical communities in an effort to improve the quality of mental health care.
When treatment plans are created jointly and in equal partnership between people who live with mood disorders and those who treat them, individuals are more invested in, served by, and able to achieve those plans. By encouraging the collaborative care model, we hope to foster a more person-centered approach that improves the effectiveness of treatments for people living with mood disorders.
Tools for Enhancing Collaborative Care
DBSA has developed a number of tools to improve communication between an individual and their health care providers.
DBSA Wellness Tracker: Online tool and phone app that helps individuals track key indicators of, or influences on, a person’s mental, emotional, and physical health—overall mood, symptoms, lifestyle influences, medications and side effects, and physical statistics.
DBSA Personal Calendars: Printed 1- or 6-month calendars that allow individuals to track their overall mood and several influencing factors. The calendar provides you with a snapshot of how your patient is doing so that you can probe into potential contributing factors to any significant changes or persistent problems reflected on the calendar. Print 1-month calendar. Order 6-month calendar.
Combat Stigma with Compassionate Language
To promote better understanding of appropriate language for mental health and to combat discrimination against individuals living with these experiences, the Depression and Bipolar Support Alliance (DBSA) has created ten principles of compassionate language. Whether you are a peer, family member, co-worker, clinician, or member of the media, we encourage you to adopt them. By doing so, you help work against the stigma that so often surrounds mental health.