We understand that feeling physically, socially, or emotionally unsafe may cause extreme anxiety in a person (especially those who have experienced trauma, potentially causing re-traumatization). Therefore, creating a safe environment is fundamental to successfully engaging patients in their care. Examples of creating a safe environment include:
• Physical Environment;
• Keeping parking lots, common areas, bathrooms, entrances, and exits well lit;
• Ensuring that people are not allowed to smoke, loiter, or congregate outside entrances and exits;
• Monitoring who is coming in and out of the building; Keeping noise levels in waiting rooms low;
• Using welcoming language on all signage; and
• Making sure clients have clear access to the door in treatment rooms so they can easily exit if desired.
• Social-Emotional Environment
• Welcoming clients and ensuring that they feel respected and supported;
• Ensuring staff maintain healthy interpersonal boundaries and can manage conflict appropriately;
• Keeping consistent schedules and procedures;
• Offering sufficient notice and preparation when changes are necessary;
• Maintaining communication that is consistent, open, respectful, and compassionate; and
• Being aware of how an individual’s culture affects how they perceive trauma, safety, and privacy.
We utilize the following organizational practices that recognize the impact of trauma reorient the culture of a behavioral health care setting to address the potential for trauma in clients and staff, while trauma-informed clinical practices address the impact of trauma on individual clients:
• Empowerment: Using individuals’ strengths to empower them in the development of their treatment;
• Choice: Informing clients regarding treatment options so they can choose the options they prefer;
• Collaboration: Maximizing collaboration among staff, clients, and their families in organizational and treatment planning;
• Safety: Developing health care settings and activities that ensure clients’ physical and emotional safety; and
• Trustworthiness: Creating clear expectations with clients about what proposed treatments entail, who will provide services, and how care will be provided.
We provide quality treatment by integrating the best available evidence with practitioner expertise and other resources, and deliberate consideration and inclusion of the characteristics, state, needs, values and preferences of those who will be affected/treated.
At The Next Step Behavioral Health, clients are considered first and foremost at every point in the planning, implementation, and evaluation of service delivery. Clients are the experts on their own personal circumstances and wants. Program staff gather information from clients to design and offer appropriate services. Client preferences guide every aspect of service delivery, from clinic hours to counseling techniques to contraceptive decision-making. At the same time, person centered health care continues to value providers' expertise. Providers possess the specialized knowledge and skills to help clients make informed choices, to ensure clients' safety, and to maintain the technical quality of care.
Key elements of Person-Centered care include:
• Respect. Clients want to be treated with respect and friendliness. Clients interpret courtesy, confidentiality, and privacy as signs that providers are treating them as equals.
• Understanding. Clients value individualized service and prefer providers who make the effort to understand their particular situation and needs. They want providers to listen to them, to explain options in terms that they understand, and to assure them that problems can and will be taken care of. When providers are unresponsive, frustrated clients may simply drop out.
• Complete and accurate information. Clients value information. It is important that they know providers are telling them all the facts.
• Technical competence. Clients can and do judge the technical competence of the services they receive. Ultimately, clients judge technical competence by whether their needs are met or their problems are resolved.
• Access. Clients want ready access to competence services and providers. A convenient location and prompt service are important, but access also means that services are reliable, affordable, and without barriers.
• Fairness. Clients want providers to offer thorough explanations and examinations to everyone alike regardless of age, race, relationship, social class or socioeconomic status.
• Results. Clients come for services for a specific purpose. They are dissatisfied when told to come back another day or to go to a different facility, or when providers dismiss their complaints as unimportant
Positive mental health can emerge and grow from what we think, how we feel and how we act. This concept of thinking, feeling and doing can be impacted significantly when providers and clients:
• Focus on solutions not problems: We believe in positive mental health and recovery and strive to help clients recognize and build upon successes. Being stuck in past maladaptive patterns of thinking, feeling or doing is a disservice to the client, whereas identification and replication of success lends to a more emotionally satisfying life.
• People may already have the resources they need to change: Identification of strengths, needs preference and abilities help us to create individualized service plans that focus on change and growth. We help clients realize their potential and utilize existing resources to foster hope and healing.
• Change happens in small steps: Everyone’s journey is unique with different avenues toward self-improvement. We consider one small step forward as one step toward a giant and life altering improvement. Daily doses of success and change reinforce the concept of “winning at change, and winning by choice”.
Knoxville Johnson City
252 Harry Lane Blvd. 207 N. Boone St.
Suite 202 Suite 600
Knoxville, TN 37923 Johnson City, TN 37604
402 Greenbelt Drive
Maryville, TN 37804
Phone: (865) 338-5384
Fax: (865) 338-5383