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Detailed Program Description


FloridaSDC Circuit 04
4530 St. Johns Avenue Ste. 15 #327
Jacksonville, FL 32210

(904) 807-1236

Service area: Clay, Duval and Nassau Counties



Florida Self-Directed Care (SDC) is an innovative service delivery paradigm with individuals with mental illnesses in publicly funded mental
health programs squarely at the center of decision-making. SDC was conceived in Jacksonville, Florida in early 2000, from a grass-roots
effort. A group of dedicated self and systems advocates came together around the belief that there had to be a better road to recovery
than found in traditional treatment modalities.
From this journey, SDC was born. The original program covered a five-county area in NE Florida,
and has been self-directed by over 150 people since 2002.  The success of the NE Florida program has led to the creation of a second
program, serving five counties in Southwest Florida (

The FloridaSDC Program is based upon the understanding that individuals choosing services and making purchases will help them
begin, or remain on the road to recovery, and develop or regain meaningful, productive activity.  The goal of FloridaSDC is to 
promote self-determination, recovery and full inclusion of people who have been diagnosed with a mental illness, and who
depend on government subsidized mental wellness services. Participants in FloridaSDC select the providers, services, and activities
that they deem necessary for recovery and achievement of the highest level of desired personal wellness and quality of life. Through a
careful self-assessment, experiences, and results, individuals employ personal flexibility to make adjustments to fit their needs,
engage in activities meaningful to them, and work to attain a higher quality of life.

Through the FloridaSDC program each participant controls of the public financial resources to access mental health services.
FloridaSDC participants use their budgets to purchase mental wellness services from any member of the FloridaSDC Network.
The primary purpose of these funds is to purchase psychiatric and mental wellness care, however, a unique option within the
program is the opportunity for participants to access alternative and non-traditional services that result in the same successes
as traditional mental health services. For example, instead of attending psychotherapy group for depression at a local
mental health professionalís office, a FloridaSDC participant may elect to participate in a community-based support group.
The personal outcomes are similar, but the type of actual service is very different, both in cost and experience. Through FloridaSDC
participants also have match-funding opportunities to purchase tangible items, such as clothes and shoes that will enhance
the personís opportunities for integration into the community, and return to work or other meaningful activity.

Though residential and crisis stabilization services are delivered by existing community mental health providers through the traditional
 delivery system, participants in the FloridaSDC program choose from a variety of community-based services providers that may
or may not already be a part of the current public community mental health system.  Participants are responsible for determining
exactly which community-based services they want and by whom these services will be provided.  Participants will measure recovery 
in a number of ways including productive days in the community (productive as defined by each individual), structured self-reports of
 reactions to the programís delivery approach, and structured self-reports about achievement of personal recovery goals and objectives. 
Standard objective measures will include input from significant others and recovery coaches. The major difference between FloridaSDC
and the traditional system is the focus on participant self-reports about personal recovery, achievement and satisfaction. 

Why does FloridaSDC work?

The FloridaSDC model stresses self-determination at each point in the service delivery process. People participating in mental health
services have guided the development of this program through the development of forms for reporting and planning, creation of
operational policies and procedures, and expansion of the provider network.  As a result, the model reflects the values and
priorities of participants and enhances the ability of each to live and interact as independently as possible, enjoy an improved quality
of life, and demonstrate success.   

The approach to providing services is participant-driven and seeks to maximize each participant's ability to control the most important
decisions about how he or she will manage his/her own personal recovery. ďParticipantĒ is used throughout the rest of this
document to emphasize that individuals who enroll in the program are contributing participants to the program. The FloridaSDC
program encourages individuals to live life as fully, independently, and productively as possible and to take responsibility for their
choices and the consequences of these choices. FloridaSDC seeks to decrease, and, in some cases, eliminate patterns of
dependency on formal systems of care and to promote participant self-control and self-efficacy and use of natural and community
supports. The goal of FloridaSDC is to help each participant achieve personal mental wellness and productivity goals, thereby
enhancing each participantís quality of life. Participants have the opportunity to build upon and increase their strengths. 

The programís philosophy, that natural supports should be identified and utilized by the individual. Natural supports create an
opportunity for individuals to achieve greater autonomy and to integrate into the community. Participants identify community supports
and utilize them in a way that truly involves them in the community at large and helps them to feel like they belong. Having meaningful
lives is a large part of recovery in mental health. The FloridaSDC program staff work with individuals in a cooperative relationship
and act as coaches rather than experts. The FloridaSDC program is dedicated to listening to individualsí specified needs and preferences. 


The FloridaSDC program is a model in which public funding follows the participant. It is a program in which the individual makes
decisions and selections to the greatest extent possible. Accordingly, the following components are included in the program to
maximize the principles of self-determination.

Recovery: In its simplest form recovery can be defined as improving, mending, healing and renewal. Recovery is developing individualís
strengths and assets and individualís having the room, support and confidence to do so in the process. Recovery is about
overcoming the adverse effects of mental illnesses that may have hampered the ability to fulfill personal life goals.


Choice: Choice is the ability and opportunity to select between alternatives, to have a say in the choice made, and to have options.
To have a sense of control, to become invested in attaining personally defined goals. 

Responsibility: Responsibility is taking personal accountability for oneís choices and behaviors. SDC communicates confidence
in that ability. Responsibility involves accepting that one makes good and sometimes not so good selections. Taking responsibility
for successes and mistakes makes a person a true learner. Taking responsibility for triumphs and other accomplishments serves
as positive support especially when shared with others. SDC recognizes that learning requires non-judgmental and honest feedback
combined with thinking of options for the next time. 


Accountability: Accountability is much like responsibility in that a person understands that he or she is accountable for the selections
made and not made. Accountable adults accept they are human but do not make excuses when they know they have done
something wrong. Accountable adults understand having limits. Recovery is about looking at the holistic picture and especially
on focusing on strengths that individuals have as opposed to limits they cannot control. 


Control: Control is individuals identifying the things they can control, i.e., personal goals, hopes and dreams. Control in recovery
is about developing and accomplishing goals, while learning to recognize what one cannot control.  


Self-Determination: Self-determination stems from the ability to believe in personal control, accountability, selections and
responsibility. Self-determination and free will come from the feelings and practices that success is possible, regardless of the odds.
The more chances human beings have to succeed through a focus on personal strengths and positive encouragement
about personal accomplishments, the more likely that self-determination will develop as a foundation.  

Self-Directed: Self-directed is a concept in the recovery process which treats individuals empower themselves as capable of
making and determining their purposes and goals, with encouragement and support. Individuals engaged in discussions
regarding their capabilities and strengths, helping themselves see hope and possibilities. Individuals gain a sense of i
ndependence by determining their lifeís direction.