Many people with severe mental illness are troubled more by impairments in functioning than they are with the symptoms themselves. The aim of psychiatric rehabilitation is to help individuals increase independence in their ability to manage various areas of their lives, whether it is maintaining their household, developing meaningful relationships, managing finances, or learning how to navigate around their community. This is done through assessment functioning challenges across different domains, which includes careful assessment of how psychiatric symptoms and cognitive impairments impact daily functioning, and developing specific interventions to address these challenges so that the person can better function in that specific area.
Careful and systematic coaching, modeling, and teaching are core interventions within psychiatric rehabilitation. As psychiatric rehabilitation is such a fundamental practice within Assertive Community Treatment (ACT), all team members need to be skilled in this area. However, having identified psychiatric rehabilitation specialists could elevate practice all together. Psychiatric rehabilitation specialists may specialize in money management skill development (e.g., creating time-limited budgeting group), transportation training, and social skills building (e.g., learning how to assess social cues and practice responses).
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