Getting diagnosed with a mental illness is only the start of the journey. Learning how to cope with a mental illness involves learning practical life skills that can help with your relationships, work, social skills, interpersonal skills, and everyday tasks. Here’s an overview of life skills training and how it helps adults with chronic mental illness.
Are you looking for a mental health treatment plan that includes life skills training? Call us at Georgetown Behavioral Hospital to learn about our program.
What Is Life Skills Training?
Living with a chronic mental illness presents challenges that most people never have to face. Therefore, people with these conditions could use some help, support, and guidance to learn how to manage their lives better. If they have this help, they can make a healthy transition after mental health hospitalization.
Having practical skills and habits reduces frustration and ensures you can take care of yourself. If you have social skills, you can build better relationships and get things done in team projects. Vocational skills allow you to work or handle your household chores more efficiently. All these skills enhance your quality of life. Life skills training offers a way to learn these things in a low-stress, supportive environment.
Types of Groups and Classes
Life skills training for adults with mental illness consists of groups and classes designed to help with many different aspects of daily life. In a life skills training program, you might find the following general areas and specific groups and classes.
Personal care, including groups and classes on dressing, healthy eating, hygiene, transportation, coping skills, and money management.
Social skills including decision-making, problem-solving, creative thinking, critical thinking, organization, empathy, and communications.
Vocational skills, including understanding the need for productivity, how to do a job search, and how to maintain a job.
Leisure time use, including structuring leisure time, time management, and participating in recreational activities.
Benefits of Life Skills Training
Although many people with chronic mental illness struggle to meet their daily needs, life skills training for adults with mental illness does help them manage better. Their mental health can improve, they manage social situations and their leisure time better, and they function better in their usual home and work environments. They pass more easily through the stages of mental health recovery.
Benefits During In-Patient Programs
Suppose someone has life skills training while in a residential program. In that case, the skills classes and groups give them a chance to do and think about things that they would usually do or think about at home. This brings them feelings of familiarity and comfort. After all, therapy can be emotionally draining if it touches on past traumas or frightening experiences. Yet, during life skills training, they can focus on the everyday for a while.
Improvements in the Mental Illness
Life skills training for adults with mental illness can often bring about a reduction in symptoms. For example, people with schizophrenia usually have some symptoms that are called “negative symptoms.” These include lack of interest, social withdrawal, inability to be spontaneous, lack of pleasure, little talking, and lack of motivation.
Yet, after they have had life skills training, these same adults may have fewer or less severe negative symptoms. They become more engaged with other individuals and with their communities, they find things that interest them, and they become motivated to do things that matter to them. For some people, life skills training opens up a new world of possibilities.
Better Daily Functioning
Daily functioning also improves with life skills training for adults with mental illness. People become more autonomous, making more choices and decisions for themselves. Their daily grooming and personal care routines become more regular and reliable. They can begin to cook and eat healthier meals for themselves.
With classes on budgeting or money management, they become more comfortable and effective in dealing with financial challenges. Beyond their own home, they can learn to use public transportation to get where they need to go.
Improved Social Functioning
Social functioning can improve dramatically after skills training. People who have had these classes or attended the groups function better in interpersonal relationships. They communicate more and do so in more social and effective ways. In addition, people who take life skills training tend to engage in more pro-social activities. That is, they develop the habit of helping others.
Enhanced Occupational Functioning
After participating in life skills training for adults with mental illness, people begin to do better at work and in their daily chores. They may give more attention to their household chores and complete them more often. With a skills class in job hunting, they can find a job, and with a group on work habits, they can become more competent and productive in their work.
Better Use of Leisure Time
Managing leisure time is an important thing for people with mental illness. After all, there may be many times when they are not able to work but do need to find appropriate ways to spend their time. Also, if they are working, they need to make the most of their leisure to rest and refresh during their off-work time.
Life skills training not only teaches people how to use their leisure time. It also gives them abundant chances to practice managing that time. With this experience, they may find many new hobbies or recreational activities that they want to pursue in the future.
Boosts Self-Esteem and Confidence
With all the stigma surrounding mental illness, getting a diagnosis can feel like a blow to your self-esteem. It can be very difficult to find a way to feel good about yourself again. However, in life skills training for adults with mental illness, people can begin to see their worth. Because they can take care of their basic needs, they feel like less of a burden on others. Then, too, they feel a sense of accomplishment in doing things like cooking and handling finances. Someone who once saw themselves as worthless can begin to value themselves more.
Life Skills Training Carries Over to Life
During life skills training programs for adults with mental illness, people develop new habits, new interests, and new skills. When they go home, they still have those habits, interests, and skills. They can now take care of themselves better, do more for themselves, and become more independent. Now, they are ready to create a more satisfying life.
Ohio Life Skills Training for People with Mental Illness
At Georgetown Behavioral Hospital in Georgetown, Ohio, you will find a psychiatric treatment facility where life skills training for people with mental illness is offered. A part of the mental health program, the life skills training groups and classes provide all these benefits and more. For people with bipolar disorder, delusional disorders, and schizophrenia, this program offers hope and help both during and after they complete the residential program.
You or your loved one do not need to suffer alone. With help from our team of doctors, nurses, counselors, and psychotherapists, your situation can improve. Furthermore, your life skills training will prepare you to live your best life during and after your time in our program.
Would you or a loved one benefit from life skills training in a mental health program? Contact us at Georgetown Behavioral Hospital to find out how we can help.