Promising Practices

Supported Housing

Supported housing is a proven service that helps people who face the most complex challenges – individuals and families who are not only homeless or at risk of homelessness, but have very low incomes and serious issues that may include substance  use and mental illness.  Key elements of supported housing include:

Supported Education

Individuals with psychiatric disabilities are returning to post-secondary education in an effort to regenerate lost opportunities and resume their vocational development.  The chance to study and the chance to work offer a door back into a meaningful life from one that has been diminished by isolation, relinquished responsibility and loss of hope.

Supported education services help students learn the skills, access the supports and identify and use the academic adjustments necessary to successfully complete a class, course, degree or training program.  The philosophy and principles of supported education emphasize the values of individualization, self-determination and support.

Peer Support Programs

Peer support programs vary but have many characteristics in common. They include creating a safe, supportive environment; an atmosphere of acceptance; mutual learning; promoting self-worth, dignity and respect.  Services also vary but generally include the following common elements:

Peer support programs include mutual support groups, peer-run drop-in centers, and peer-run education and advocacy programs.  Employment and volunteer activities for consumers are often available in peer support programs and can serve as a springboard to full-time or part-time employment in the mental health system and beyond.

Community Residential Treatment Alternatives

Residential treatment programs provide structured and intensive services in a residential setting to individuals who would otherwise be in a 24-hour institutional setting.  The purpose of residential treatment programs within a system of mental health care is twofold:

California has led the nation in the development of residential treatment alternatives based on PSR. Crisis and transitional residential programs, including specialized programs for persons with co-occurring disorders, women with children and older adults are helping to break the cycle of dependence for both the client and the system on costly institutional care.