LOS ANGELES, July 27, 2016 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- USC's Saks Institute for Mental Health Law, Policy and Ethics was awarded a $205,000 grant to launch a new project that will develop a patient-centered Supported Decision Making (SDM) approach for people with mental illness.
The Battery Powered Foundation of San Francisco selected the Saks Institute after a competitive nationwide application process. The foundation sought organizations that are achieving "truly transformational and differentiated results," said Abbey Banks, who oversees the Battery Powered program.
"The Saks Institute is making huge strides to support mental health challenges we face today and for generations to come," said Banks. "We are excited to welcome them to the Battery Powered family."
Elyn Saks, a USC Gould School of Law professor and director of the Saks Institute, will develop the SDM approach with a goal of improving care, reducing stigma, increasing self-determination, and decreasing health costs for people struggling with mental illness.
"For the most part, society responds to those in crisis by taking away their rights with restrictive means like institutionalization and conservatorship," said Saks. "Our new supported decision-making approach will help those with mental illness to plan their care in a more active way."
Starting with project participants and later via nationwide scalability, the Saks Institute project will generate critically needed research and new models in patient centered decision-making.
"We believe this will transform the mental health field," said Saks, a renowned mental health expert, who was diagnosed with schizophrenia in her early 20s.
"Supported Decision Making has the potential to transform the lives of people with mental illness in a way that has not been done before," added Saks. "We are tremendously appreciative and excited to receive this gift from Battery Powered. Being a consumer and a legal scholar, I know the complexity – and the benefits – of giving a voice to people with mental illness to live their best life."
Saks, will launch her three-year study this summer. She is grateful to the Battery Foundation for its dedication to mental health. "The Battery should be commended for its commitment to this field. I know that the profound benefit of an SDM approach is the patient being listened to, respected, and given a more active role in planning his or her own care. Families will also benefit by partnering with their loved one and supporting sensible choices for optimal wellness," Saks said.
The Saks Institute for Mental Health Law, Policy and Ethics is a think tank at USC Gould School of Law founded by renowned expert and MacArthur "Genius Award" recipient, Elyn Saks. The Saks Institute tackles challenging issues that require interdisciplinary research and collaboration, and engages experts in law, medicine, psychiatry, psychology, social work, philosophy, neuroscience, and public policy to address mental health issues, develop solutions, influence policy reform, and promote advocacy actions for improved treatment and compassion.
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SOURCE USC Gould School of Law