Why You Deserve Shared Decision Making

John Williams

Editor’s note: Care for Your Mind—in partnership with the National Network of Depression Centers and other organizations—has been seeking answers to the question: what’s keeping people from getting the mental health care they need? Shared decision making (SDM) is one piece of the puzzle, through which healthcare providers work with patients to understand their individual needs, preferences, and values. Then, patients and providers discuss different options and make care decisions together. It’s a common sense, personalized approach to care. Dr. John Williams introduces our series on SDM. Join the conversation!

John W. Williams Jr., MD Professor of Medicine and Psychiatry at Duke University

As a patient, would you want your physician making healthcare decisions on your behalf without any regard for your personal preferences, values, or needs? If you’re like most people, you’d prefer to be involved in choosing the care that’s right for you. After all, it’s your body, your mind, your financial resources, and your life.

Shared decision making, or SDM, is a process through which you and your doctor make decisions together, as partners. It’s a common sense concept: you discuss the things that matter to you, your doctor provides information, and then works with you to choose the best treatment for you.

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What Will Help Faith Communities Address Mental Health and Erase Stigma?

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Families for Depression Awareness for Care for Your Mind

This post is another in the Care for Your Mind series on the role of faith, faith leaders, and faith communities in addressing mental health concerns.

Spiritual leaders and faith communities may be where people first turn when they are grappling with a mental health issue. This is often true in the military, according to Chaplain Dianna Watkins in the CFYM post, “Where Do Service Members Get Mental Health Support? (For Many, It’s Not Where You Think.)” Service members turn to their chaplains not only for matters of faith and spirituality, she commented, but for help in addressing their mental health concerns. Working with a chaplain, Ch Watkins noted, allows service members to work around barriers to accessing care. Further, unlike many of their civilian counterparts, military chaplains receive training not only in pastoral care and theology (all have attained a Master of Divinity degree or its equivalent), but also in mental health and suicide prevention.

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What Role Do Patients Play in Improving Quality of Care? A Big One.

david-katzelnick

Editor’s note: Please enjoy this article from the CFYM archive, first published March 24, 2014. Look for the upcoming series which will focus on the collaboration between the patient and the clinical team around shared-decision making.

David Katzelnick, M.D.
Chair, Division of Integrated Behavioral Health, Mayo Clinic
We acknowledge the collaboration of 
National Network of Depression Centers in developing this series.

With a world of health information literally at our fingertips, patients are more informed and engaged than ever. Research indicates that patients who are actively involved in their own healthcare receive higher quality care and achieve better health outcomes.

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Culpable, or Merely Reprehensible? Driving Someone to Suicide

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Families for Depression Awareness for Care for Your Mind

Should our society prosecute the people who encourage or drive another to take their own life? We may be seeing the maturation of criminal justice in recognizing the vulnerability of people suffering from depression or bipolar disorder, bringing criminal charges against those who are in some way a significant reason for a person’s suicide.

Two Recent Cases
In Massachusetts, a teenage girl is accused of actively encouraging her boyfriend to take his own life. Through a series of texts, Michelle Carter’s support, advice, and even goading may have pushed Conrad Roy III to his death by suicide. But to what extent does a text – even one as unconscionable as “It’s now or never” – contribute to a person’s decision to attempt suicide? Ms. Carter has been charged with involuntary manslaughter.

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