NAMI - Shared Decision Making

Shared Decision Making: Empowering People Living with Mental Illness
By Hanem Ali, NAMI Registration and Exhibits Manger

When visiting a psychiatrist, there are many topics that a patient and the doctor need to discuss. Those topics include daily functioning, medication and side-effects, progress, or lack thereof, treatment, the patient might also want to ask questions and participate in the decision making process. However, because of the limited time that the patient has with the doctor, it is often impossible to cover all of those things properly. To address this problem, Pat Deegan, Ph.D., created CommonGround.

CommonGround is a Web application that allows the patient to create a health report and summary about how they are feeling before going into the doctor’s office. By doing so it enables the both the doctor and patient to make better use of their time by focusing on the important things and participate in the decision making process in terms of treatment and therapy. Allowing the patient to play a vital part in the medical decision making process for their treatment and recovery empowers the patient and helps them further in their journey towards their recovery.


It’s good to know my doc and I are this track and more often then not lately, on the same page. I trust him more and don’t dread going. My doc knows the science, but I know what my own head is doing…

Having simple tools like this could make a huge difference in the future. Thank you for posting this.

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