Working in Partnership with Your Patient

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.

  • Facing Us Wellness Plan: Online tool that allows individuals to identify and share specific goals for their treatment plan as well as measureable strategies and tactics to help them achieve success. The plan provides you valuable insight into an individual’s priorities for treatment, allowing you to offer options that move beyond managing symptoms to those that best align with your patients’ goals. It is the person’s ability to achieve these goals that will ultimately define whether the person feels their treatment plan is successful. Learn more.
  • DBSA Wellness Tracker: Online tool and phone app that helps individuals track four key indicators of, or influencers on, a person’s mental, emotional, and physical health—overall mood, symptoms, life-style influencers, medications and side effects, and physical statistics. Learn more.
  • 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.

Words Count

  • The Seven Dirty Words: Certain words and phrases used by doctors and providers simply set many patients’ teeth on edge. Listen to the DBSA podcast.  
  • 10 Ways to Combat Discrimination with Compassionate Language: A picture may be worth a thousand words, but words also paint vivid pictures—pictures that can evoke truth, strength, and empathy or, alternatively, fear, anger, and judgment. Learn more.

Finding Concordance

In November, 2012, DBSA, together with the International Society for Bipolar Disorders (ISBD), and the Collaborative Care Initiative (CCI), hosted Concordance 2012, a live and web-streamed presentation by Gary Sachs, M.D., introducing the concept of concordance followed by panel discussion about barriers to wellness between individuals living with a mood disorder and leading mental health practitioners and researchers. In this discussion, DBSA, ISBD, and CCI posit that effective treatment plans move beyond the idea of treatment compliance or adherence—in which individuals are asked to follow a prescribed plan of action—toward concordance, or agreement, on a treatment plan from its inception. 

We want your ideas!

Do you have a suggestion for DBSA on ways to enhance collaborative care? We hope you’ll share your ideas with us so that we can build future programming to educate and/or create tools that foster the patient-clinician partnership. Submit your idea.