My Health, My Choice, My Life

My Health, My Choice, My Life is a health promotion and wellness initiative for Tennesseans who live with mental health and substance use conditions.  The holistic health initiativeintegrates a medical model with recovery and resiliency, resulting in an initiative that focuses on overcoming physical and mental health symptoms through strengths, personal empowerment and resiliency.  It is led by individuals who have first hand, lived experience with psychiatric and/or co-occurring conditions.

My Health, My Choice, My Life provides individuals with self-directed tools, empowering them with the knowledge, skills and resources to improve their overall well-being and resiliency and live healthy and purposeful lives.

The health and wellness initiativeconsists ofa workshop, weekly wellness related activities and wellness coaching.  The workshop is the evidence-based Chronic Disease Self-Management Program, developed by the Stanford University Patient Education Center.  The six session workshop assists individuals in gaining and developing the knowledge, skills, and motivation they need to manage the day-to-day realities of their physical and mental health symptoms.  It is based on the principle that confident, knowledgeable individuals practicing self-management will be empowered to live a life of purpose and well-being.

The My Health, My Choice, My Life initiative embraces the Wellness Model developed by Dr. Peggy Swarbrick of the Collaborative Support Programs of New Jersey’s Wellness and Recovery Institute.  Dr. Swarbrick defines wellness as “a conscious, deliberate process that requires that a person become aware of and makes choices for a more satisfying lifestyle.”   The Wellness Model includes eight dimensions: emotional, financial, social, spiritual, occupational, physical, intellectual and environmental.  Wellness Coaching will assist individuals in pursuing individually chosen wellness goals.

My Health, My Choice, My Life is a five year, $3.6 million Mental Health Transformation grant from SAMHSA/CMHS and will be implemented by Peer Wellness Coaches and Peer Leaders throughout the state in Peer Support and Addiction Recovery Centers.  There will be seven Peer Wellness Coaches, one for each Mental Health Planning Region of the state, who will coordinate the My Health, My Choice, My Life program in their region.  The program will be implemented in a tiered approach, beginning first in Middle, then in East, followed by West Tennessee.