Reintegration & Recovery >> Independent Living
As you recover and begin to reintegrate back into the mainstream, there are three types of living arrangements you will want to consider:
Living in your own apartment or other housing
Living with your family
Living in a supported housing program
Living In Your Own Apartment or Other Housing
The type of living arrangement you'll be able to choose depends on how well you are able to take care of yourself and the kind of support available to you. If your goal is to live by yourself, you'll need to understand how you will be able to pay for your expenses. You will also have to plan how to get from your apartment to your job or school, doctor's office, therapy sessions, the grocery store, etc.
You can work with your case manager to find a type of housing that fits with your current ability to take care of yourself and that is within your monthly budget. If you choose (and are able) to live on your own, you may occasionally need support from others. Finding out what kind of support is available to you through the community, as well as from your family and friends, is an important aspect of arranging to live on your own.
The questions below may help you decide if you want to live on your own, or if you would be happier living with other people:
- Would you like to live in your own apartment?
- Why would you prefer living in your own apartment?
- Why might you not like living by yourself?
- How will you pay for your apartment, phone, food, and other expenses?
- Are you able to:
- Cook meals for yourself?
- Shop for your food?
- Wash your laundry?
- Clean your apartment?
- Get your medicine refilled?
- How will you get to your class, job, or group sessions every day?
- Are there people living nearby who can help you if needed?
- Family member(s)?
- Your case manager?
After speaking with your case manager or family, you may decide that living in your own apartment is indeed the best option for you. If so, you may want to ask your case manager to help you find a good place to live. Your case manager may also be able to assist you with any paperwork you need to fill out.
Living With Your Family
- Family members usually want to help you.
- Living with your family may cost less than other options.
- Family members can drive you to your job, class, group sessions, or meetings with your treatment team.
There may be more people to do the cooking, cleaning, and shopping. It may be less stressful for you to share these chores with others than to do them all yourself. Sometimes it's not so easy living with your family (and it may not be easy for them to live with you). Here are some possible negative points about living with your family:
You may feel you have less freedom in your life to do what you want to do - or you may feel you're being treated like a child. You will probably have to deal with your family's rules and expectations. As your parents get older, they may not be able to help you as much - that is, you may have to find another living arrangement in the future. Because you and your family are living together, they may feel the stress and tension caused by your illness. Some members of your family may have a hard time handling these feelings or coping with some of the problems your illness causes.
Living in a Supported Housing Program
There are many different types of supported housing, depending on where you live. In rural areas, supported housing may mean living with a family. In cities, supported care might be living in an apartment complex with a supervisor or leader living on-site. Here are some examples of supported housing:
You may have your own apartment, or share an apartment with one or two other clients. Staff members are on call to assist you, and they stop by routinely to see how you're doing.
You may share a home with several other clients. Your case manager visits you at your home and assists you if you need help with anything.
You may live with a family that has received training and support in providing a place to live for a person who has a mental illness disability.
Community care home (group home)
This type of group living arrangement serves only people with mental illness disabilities. Professionals and trained staff are available on the premises to assist you.
Halfway house (group home)
This arrangement is particularly helpful for a patient with a dual diagnosis of addiction and mental illness. Professionals at the halfway house offer help to the resident needing assistance with this type of dual recovery.
Boarding home (group home)
You may share a home with other clients, and people are available to assist you. This type of housing is different from a "community care home"; the people who are available to assist you are not mental health care professionals. However, they have received training to assist people with mental illnesses.
:Residential treatment facility (group home)
This is another type of group living arrangement that treats people with disabilities caused by mental illnesses. A large staff of professionals is available, and people usually stay in this type of facility for long periods of time. Clients attend classes or workshops to learn skills to become more independent.
Temporary respite bed
This temporary living arrangement is available for people having a crisis. Staff members are available to help clients through the crisis period.
This type of facility offers 24-hour care and is staffed by physical and mental health professionals. The client using this type of service is generally the elderly mental health patient.