Self-determination/choice voucher introduction

Self-determination is the value that people served by the public mental health system must be supported to have a meaningful life in the community. The components of a meaningful life include: 

  1. work or volunteer activities that are chosen by and meaningful to person, 
  2. reciprocal relationships with other people in the community, and 
  3. daily activities that are chosen by the individual and support the individual to connect with others and contribute to his or her community.

With arrangements that support self-determination, individuals have control over a budget for their mental health services and supports to live the lives they want in the community. 

The principles of self-determination recognize the rights of people supported by the mental health system to have a life with freedom, and to access and direct needed supports that assist in the pursuit of their life, with responsible citizenship. These supports function best when they build upon natural community experiences and opportunities. The person determines and manages needed supports in close association with chosen friends, family, neighbors, and co-workers as a part of an ordinary community life.

Self-determination builds upon the choice already available within the public mental health system. In Michigan, all Medicaid beneficiaries who receive services through the public mental health system have a right under the Balanced Budget Act (BBA) to choose the providers of the services and supports that are identified in their individual plan of service “to the extent possible and appropriate.” Individuals must be able to choose from at least two providers for each covered support and service and must be able to choose an out-of-network provider under certain circumstances. 

Provider choice, while critically important, must be distinguished from arrangements that support self-determination. The latter arrangements extend individual choice to his/her control and management over providers (i.e., directly employs or contracts with providers), service delivery, and budget development and implementation.

The goals of arrangements that support self-determination, on an individual basis, are to dissolve the isolation of people with disabilities, reduce segregation, promote participation in community life and realize full citizenship rights.

If you are interested in learning more, please call 734-544-3050 and ask to speak with the Self-Determination Coordinator. If you are already utilizing Self-Determination and are looking for information on meetings, trainings, and other topics, please click here.