The dynamic between patients and doctors has been changing rapidly over the past decade – gone are the days when “doctor knows best” took prevalence in the doctor–patient relationship; patients in many healthcare systems around the world are taking a more active role in their own healthcare.
While this poses challenges for those individuals who are more familiar with more traditional arrangements, the health benefits of patient empowerment are such that self-management – where patients take more ownership of their conditions and the associated treatments – is being openly embraced by many organisations in Canada.
Most notable is a 2012 report by the Health Council of Canada, titled Self-management support for Canadians with chronic health conditions: A focus for primary health care. As its name suggests, the document discusses the health benefits for patients who self-manage their chronic conditions, describing how the boost in confidence can have a positive knock-on effect for psychological wellbeing, so increasing the likelihood of recovery and improvement.
It is a belief endorsed by both the Alzheimer Society Canada and Diabetes Canada, in a 2018 article in the Canadian Journal of Diabetes, and there are numerous other health organisations adopting the same message.
Addiction Rehab Toronto is a specialist centre aimed at helping people overcome various addictions and also mental health issues in general. It has developed a self-management program called Smart Recovery, which uses approaches normally associated with Cognitive Behavioural Therapy to empower individuals to overcome their own difficulties themselves.
“Smart Recovery is really all about putting the onus on the individual to identify, tackle and ultimately defeat their own particular issues, whether that be alcohol or drug addiction, or more general mental health disorders,” a spokesperson for Addiction Rehab Toronto said.
“While that may sound like there is an enormous amount of pressure and responsibility being placed on very vulnerable individuals, it can actually be a very empowering, uplifting and esteem-building exercise that gives people valuable tools to fight against what can be very deep-rooted psychological issues.”
The program has a four-step set of what it describes as “teaching lessons”, which begins with embedding abstinence, followed by finding the causes of triggers and cravings, before turning the focus towards the individual’s own thoughts and feelings that may be negatively affecting their life, and finally encouraging a healthy lifestyle that helps prevent any relapses.
“While drug and alcohol addictions manifest physically, their roots lie in mental health issues,” added the spokesperson. “The Smart Recovery program is an acknowledgement of this – it’s saying that overcoming addictions is a psychological battleground, so we are working with individuals on this basis and giving them the psychologicalfirepower to win these battles, now and in future.”
With the Health Council of Canada going on to call on all governments in Canada to do more to embed self-management into patient healthcare, momentum seems to be building in support ofwidening the approach across the country. What it calls the “unique perspective” that patients have on their own care could potentially present valuable learning for healthcare providers.
Addiction Rehab Toronto services many areas across Ontario and can be contacted on 1-855-787-2424. More information on their Smart Recovery program is on their website at https://addictionrehabtoronto.ca/smart-recovery/
Company Name: Addiction Rehab Toronto
Contact Person: Jeff B.
Email: Send Email
Address:4 Warrendale Court Etobicoke
State: Ontario M9V 1P9