Programs that specialize in the treatment of individuals who have identified mental or emotional disorders with the objective of helping them to eliminate or reduce the severity of their symptoms, to mediate disturbed patterns of behaviour, to promote positive personality growth and development and to maximize the individual's ability to function as independently as possible. Treatment may utilize therapeutic techniques derived from one or more theoretical counselling approaches.
Programs that prescribe antidepressants, antianxiety drugs, antimaniacs, sedatives and antipsychotic/neuroleptic medications to control symptoms such as delusions, extreme agitation, panic attacks, manic or depressive episodes, hallucinations or paranoia that are associated with specific forms of mental illness. Services may include a psychiatric evaluation to determine the need for medication; prescription of an appropriate drug; and periodic follow-up to monitor the effectiveness of the medication in modifying the individual's behaviour, ensure that undesirable side effects are minimized and verify that medication is, in fact, being taken as prescribed.
The above terms and definitions are part of the Taxonomy of Human Services, used here by permission of INFO LINE of Los Angeles.