“Pa. managed care entity lauded for using collaborative care tool”

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This November 7, 2013 article on the Mental Health Weekly website talks about Community Care Behavioral Health (CCBH) and how they have helped to increase recovery oriented treatment with Common Ground software at 12 locations.  Common Ground was designed by Dr. Pat Deegan and her team.  The software encourages two-way communication between patients and the psychiatrist about things like medication use/concerns, how the person is doing overall, if they have any concerns or questions about their medications or treatment in general.

The agency I receive my mental health treatment from is one of the 12 locations using Common Ground, and to be honest, I love the software.  I am able to have remote access to the common ground library, and can update things like medications, personal medicine and my power statement from home.  I am not able to do a health report from home, but that is done before I go in to see my Psychiatrist and they schedule my appointment to make sure I have time to do the report and see my doctor in a reasonable amount of time.  In general my appointment takes about an hour and includes my use of Common Ground, seeing the Nurse, and seeing my Psychiatrist.  One thing that I find helpful about Common Ground is that with me having ADHD, I often forget or lose things, so before Common Ground, I would write a list of things I wanted to discuss with my Psychiatrist, and 9 chances out of 10 I would end up losing the list before I got in to see him, so I would then forget to ask about things I felt were important.  With Common Ground, I still risk losing my list, but the approach Common Ground uses by asking questions about various things that are important for me to discuss with my doctor, it seems to help get my mindset in a mode where I not only remember more of what I wanted to ask or mention, and I feel like my appointment is more productive than it use to be before Common Ground.

On behalf of the folks who have benefited from Common Ground so far, I would like to say thank you to Pat Deegan and her team for the work they have done to help me and many others like  me feel like we really truly have a voice when it comes to our mental health treatment.

I once saw a video where Pat Deegan was talking about why she created Common Ground.  At one point in the video, she said she started her work on improving the mental health system to “save myself”.  I would like to once again, thank Pat Deegan for taking a risk and trying to save others while she saves herself.  The work she has done has made a huge impact on my life and the quality of my mental health care, but I’m sure that I’m not the only one that has benefited from her efforts since many others also use Common Ground.

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