If you have been addicted to drugs or alcohol and/or you have a mental illness, you might be receiving services from a variety of agencies. For instance, you might have a drug counselor, attending an addiction treatment program, and seeing a therapist or psychologist once a week. One of the agencies you’re receiving services from might also assign you with a case worker or case manager to work with. In many cases, a case worker can be a strong advocate for you. So it’s important to know who this person is and how he or she can help you.
A case manager is a professional who can assist you in coordinating the care you are receiving. He or she can empower you by connecting you with a variety of resources in the community. They can help you understand what services are available to you that you may not already be using, as well as ensure that you are receiving quality and efficient care to meet your mental health needs. A case manager might also conduct a thorough assessment in order to gain a better understanding of your needs. For instance, he or she might look for whether the following needs have been met:
- Basic needs such as housing and food supply
- Physical and medical needs
- Mental health needs
- Psychosocial needs
- Health literacy, such as understanding about one’s own health needs and how to meet them
- Needs that result from functional impairments, such as a lack of income due to being physically disabled
- Needs that result from not having a strong support system
Typically, a case manager will thoroughly assess a person’s situation to get an overall picture of his or her health needs. At that point, a case manager then can provide a person with options for meeting all those needs. In fact, a case manager is often responsible for:
- Engaging with a person
- Assessing a person for the needs listed above
- Planning for a person so that those needs get met
- Linking a person who needs services with the agencies that provide them
- Monitoring a person’s progress as he or she is receiving certain services
- Advocating for a person to ensure that all needs are being met adequately
It might be obvious that case management entails many facets, making a case manager an important part of a person’s recovery. For instance, a case manager might provide various health options for a person to choose from. A case manager might facilitate communication between a client, his or her family members, care givers, and service providers. A case manager might also educate the client as well as a client’s family on topics such as medical insurance, benefits, and various options of care. Once a person is connected to the right services, a case manager might also assist that person with transitioning to the next level of care, when needed. And lastly, a case manage will help a person advocate for him or herself.
If you are in recovery and you’re receiving a number of services, a case manager can be like a close friend, ensuring your safety and supporting your overall well being.
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