Launch of new website focused on self-direction in mental health

Date: 07/2017

The Human Services Research Institute and Applied Self Direction, the new home for the National Resource Center for Participant-Directed Services, are pleased to announce the release of a new website,, with information and research findings on self-direction, a relatively new approach to recovery for people with serious mental health conditions.

Users of the new site will find:

Self-direction is rooted in choice, control, and self-determination. People who self-direct control an individualized budget and have the flexibility to choose from a much broader-than-usual range of goods, services, and supports to overcome challenges and reach their personal and professional goals. Research shows that this flexibility is key; people can make greater strides toward long-term recovery when they self-direct.

For the past three years, the Human Services Research Institute, Applied Self Direction, and the National Resource Center for Participant-Directed Services—with funding from the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation and the New York State Health Foundation, and with support from the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration—have worked together to evaluate demonstrations of self-direction in six states. As part of this work, they’ve examined successes and challenges as states implement this new service delivery model, and they’ve analyzed administrative data to understand self-direction’s impact on individuals and populations.

“With, we’re excited to share data related to this promising new approach. According to our own studies and those of other researchers, self-direction has the potential to produce better outcomes that facilitate mental health recovery, including employment and housing stability, self-sufficiency, and engagement in mutual support and self-advocacy,” said David Hughes, president of the Human Services Research Institute.

A growing body of evidence also shows that self-direction can improve quality of life by contributing to people's self-esteem, their ability to have meaningful relationships, and their community participation.

“We hope this new website will help spread the word about self-direction and serve as a resource for people interested in learning more about the approach and its evidence base,” said Bevin Croft, a research associate who is leading the project at HSRI.

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