CSP Principles

The CSP Principles

The CSP Principles were developed in 1977 by the National Institute for Mental Health (NIMH) workgroup that investigated model programs around the country to identify best practices for fostering recovery among individuals with serious mental illness.

Out of these model programs, the workgroup took the common and innovative practices they found that supported recovery and individual dignity and crafted them into the 8 CSP Principles. These principles are used as the foundation of how to look at the planning and development of services to encourage a recovery based practices in services and supports.

The Principles are:

Person-Centered / Person-Empowered
Services are based upon the needs of the individual and incorporate self help and other approaches that allow individuals to retain the greatest possible control over their own lives

Culturally Competent
Services are sensitive and responsive to racial, ethnic, religious and gender differences of persons in recovery and their families.

Designed to Meet Special Needs
Services are designed to meet the needs of persons with behavioral health challenges who are also affected by such factors as age, substance abuse, physical illness or disability, developmental disability, homelessness or involvement with the criminal justice system.

Community-Based / Natural Supports
Services are provided in the least coercive manner and in the most natural settings possible. Individuals in recovery are encouraged to use the natural supports in the community and to integrate into the living, working, learning and leisure activities in the community.

Services are designed to allow people to move in and out of the system and within the system as needed.

Treatment services and supports are coordinated on both the local system level and on an individual basis in order to reduce fragmentation and to improve efficiency and effectiveness with service delivery. Coordination includes linkages with service participants, families, advocates and professionals at every level of system of care.

There is shared accountability among service providers, service participants,  family members, and the general community in the planning, development, implementation, monitoring and evaluation of service delivery.

Strengths Based 
Services build upon the assets and strengths of individuals and help people in recovery maintain a sense of identity, self-esteem and dignity.

Please see our other pages on the Community Support System and the CSP History for more information on where the CSP principles came from and how they are used.

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