Responding to Unique Needs

Adapting an evidence-based practice to meet the needs of individuals in supported housing

The Challenge

Supported housing has unique staff development needs compared to traditional outpatient or residential counseling settings. Having been trained in Illness Management Recovery (IMR) by the Center, a large nonprofit-supported housing organization recognized that IMR could work for their clients if some adjustments were made. Doing that to an evidence-based intervention is not desirable since it alters the fidelity of the model and jeopardizes the outcomes. A portion of the model in its validated format, however, can be used while ensuring effectiveness.

The Process

Consulting with the organization’s clinical medical leaders, we identified five IMR modules that best supported the identified mental health and substance use needs of the agency’s supported-housing residents. We adapted IMR to become “Targeted IMR” and similarly modified the training to focus on specific modules while maintaining the principles and spirit of IMR.

The Result

We are currently piloting Targeted IMR, and the agency is collecting client data to determine its efficacy. The Clinical Supervisor reports, “Now that we have adapted the intervention to fit our program and those quick 10- to 15-minute meetings we have with our residents, we find that many are actually engaging in things like skills practice, relaxation techniques, and even goal setting. They really like the materials we are using from the manual, and they are able to see their own progress.”