Philosophy and Treatment Principles

The following Treatment Principles form the foundation for New Horizons’ operating values, guide New Horizons relationships with the consumers it serves, provide a working blueprint for service planning and treatment processes, and ultimately measure the quality of program performance.  

  1. Staff and consumers must be able to form a trusting Therapeutic Alliance as the basis for working together effectively.

  New Horizons staff should:  

  • Treat each consumer with respect, honesty and kindness, valuing and preserving the consumer’s dignity and worth;


  • Listen actively to what consumers think and how they feel about their life situation while enhancing motivation and self-direction;


  • Promote consumers’ active participation in identifying helpful services and in setting meaningful goals that establish positive expectations;


  • Provide education to consumers, family members and natural supports to promote understanding of the impact of services and supports on individual functioning or symptoms, and to promote understanding of consumers’ responsibility in the process;


  • Understand the individuality of each consumer’s journey of recovery/resiliency, recognizing their unique needs and priorities as well as the challenges they may face as a result of their history of trauma, mental illness and/or substance use;


  • Work with family members, other natural supports, the courts and other systems to promote consumers’ participation in services;


  • Recognize and continually seek opportunities to praise and reward consumer progress no matter how small, and help the consumer recognize and take pride in success, to build on their self-respect and sense of achievement;


  • Deliver services in a manner that is responsive to each consumer’s unique developmental needs, cultural background, gender identity and expression, language and communication skills, sexual orientation and other factors as indicated;


  • Offer consumers the right to change staff when a consumer and staff member cannot form a therapeutic alliance; and


  • Provide consumers with an opportunity to give feedback on how services can be improved or modified.


  1. Each consumer must experience Person- and Family-Centered Care that fits their unique strengths and needs, goals, preferences, cultural traditions, family situation and values.

  New Horizons staff should:  

  • Provide information to consumers and family members/natural supports about treatment options available so that they may make informed decisions about the type and duration of services and providers;


  • Ensure that consumers and their family members/natural supports and the treatment team collaborate to develop and implement a treatment plan that facilitates achievement of personal goals of recovery/resiliency;


  • Educate consumers and their families/natural supports about factors that may jeopardize emotional and physical safety (for example domestic violence, child abuse or neglect, separation or divorce, and/or financial/legal difficulties) and assist with mitigating risk and harm;


  • Assist in finding options for transportation, childcare and safe and appropriate housing so that these do not create barriers to treatment; and


  • Arrange for services to enhance parenting skills for those consumers who need/ desire such assistance.


  1. Each consumer should be able to live as independently as possible in the Least Restrictive Environment necessary, given their unique strengths and needs.

  New Horizons staff should:  

  • Promote an array of housing options and support consumers’ housing choices;


  • Never unduly influence a consumer’s housing choice based on staff convenience; and


  • Regularly assess appropriate level of care and environment using objective, evidence-based tools.


  1. Each consumer should be educated about and assisted in of Recovery and Resilience.

  New Horizons staff strives to:  

  • Help consumers measure their own personal growth and achievement in order to foster hope for a brighter future and provide hope for a better tomorrow when consumers are without hope;


  • Help consumers live a self-directed life, set personal goals and accomplish tasks in an independent manner with staff support but without undue staff influence;


  • Assist consumers in building a recovery pathway that recognizes their unique needs and strengths, capacities, talents, coping abilities and resources while following a non-linear route characterized by growth and improved functioning that may include setbacks;


  • Provide services in a safe, welcoming, culturally sensitive, trauma-sensitive and age-appropriate environment where staff and consumers are equal partners;


  • Educate all consumers about their illness, coping skills and strategies to prevent a recurrence of symptoms;


  • Help consumers seek and retain life purpose through employment, goal-focused educational programs or occupational certifications, volunteering, family caretaking, or creative endeavors and to have the independence, income and resources to participate in society;


  • Promote healthy lifestyle activities, including proper nutrition, smoking cessation and exercise, participating in appropriate healthcare services;


  • Provide consumers with skill development services such as budgeting, meal planning, personal care, housekeeping and home maintenance or other identified needs that will aid them in the process of recovery;


  • Help consumers gain a better understanding of available community resources and how to access them in order to meet financial, health care, housing or recreational needs;


  • Help consumers build community relationships and social networks that provide support, friendship, love and hope;


  • Help consumers avoid or discontinue the misuse of alcohol and other drugs;


  • Encourage consumer participation in peer self-help groups;


  • Recognize that consumers, just like all other persons, have the right to make mistakes and experience natural consequences for their decisions; and


  • Offer non-judgmental, unconditional support when consumers experience negative natural consequences, and assist them in managing the effects of these consequences.


  1. Each consumer and their family members and other natural supports should have access to peer support services, social networks, and resources in the community.

  New Horizons staff strives to:  

  • Help each consumer understand the importance of a mutually supportive network of family and friends;


  • Help the consumer identify and assess the strength of their support network;


  • Encourage each consumer to reach out and create or add to their network through available peer-led or peer-attended services, and formal peer-support services;


  • Assist each consumer to maintain or renew a close, positive relationship with their network members;


  • Help the consumer understand how to participate effectively in the care and maintenance of their network, including good communication and personal contributions for other network members;


  • Involve family members whenever appropriate in order to promote positive relationships; and


  • Recognize and value family contributions to the care of consumers, while not jeopardizing consumers’ confidentiality.


  1. Each consumer should have access to Pharmacological Treatments available to address behavioral health symptoms including tobacco use.

  New Horizons’ staff (including contracted prescribers or providers), strives to:  

  • Educate consumers about pharmacological treatments available to treat the symptoms of their behavioral health disorder(s), including their intended benefits and potential side-effects, available options for lower-cost generics, and dosing or packaging options;


  • Provide or arrange services for consumers to access pharmacological treatments in order to ameliorate psychiatric and substance use symptoms;


  • Assist consumers with a range of medication adherence techniques and monitor medication compliance as clinically indicated to anticipate early warning signs of a recurrence of symptoms and facilitate needed adjustments to maintain health and wellness;


  • Not condition mental health services on medication use or compliance, nor deny medications when not participating in services;


  • Stay up to date on available medications to treat mental illness, substance use disorders including tobacco use; and


  • Communicate and coordinate with other service providers regarding consumers’ medical conditions, test results, prescribed medications as clinically indicated.


  1. Each consumer who has need for Co-Occurring Disorders Treatment should receive coordinated services to address their symptoms.

  New Horizons staff strives to:  

  • Screen and assess all persons seeking services for co-occurring disorders;


  • When clinically indicated, promptly refer internally or externally to evidence-based services at program(s) that can provide all necessary services provided by qualified, trained staff; and


  • Continuously coordinate between programs, where applicable, to ensure that services are not redundant or conflicting and maintain communication regarding the consumer’s treatment plan and progress.


  1. Each consumer will experience trauma-informed care from all staff.

  New Horizons staff strives to:  

  • Screen all individuals for history of trauma and current personal safety;


  • Recognize the signs and symptoms of trauma in consumers, families/natural supports, staff and others involved in the continuum of care;


  • Respond appropriately to the effects of current and past traumatic experiences in all consumers families/natural supports, staff and others involved in the continuum of care;


  • Provide necessary services to address the impact of trauma or refer to appropriate services;


  • Seek to actively prevent re-traumatization;


  • Maintain up-to-date training in trauma-informed care principles and on the internal and external resources, programs and providers specializing in trauma treatment.


  1. Each consumer will experience easy to find, affordable and timely access to services.

  New Horizons staff should:  

  • Provide prompt screening and access to services;


  • Provide services at convenient times for consumers and their families/natural supports, including being flexible around consumer’s employment schedules;


  • Provide interim services through Outpatient Case Management or PATH, if eligible, or through referral to an external provider, when/if prompt admission cannot be provided;


  • Provide outreach and education to the public about availability of mental health services, general behavioral health issues, prevention strategies, and diagnoses;


  • Utilize telehealth/telemedicine and other forms of technology when necessary to increase access, engagement, and retention;


  • Maintain partnerships and affiliations among physical and behavioral health providers, law enforcement, courts, schools, hospitals, family services and other community resources to educate staff, improve communication and provide for easier access to services and supports; and


  • Inform consumers of available resources for housing, transportation and childcare needed to assist them in accessing and engaging in services and supports.


  1. Each consumer will be treated by qualified and competent staff.

  New Horizons staff should:  

  • Participate in adequate and required orientation and annual continuing education on evidence-based and best practices, federal, state and/or Department of Mental Health initiatives, state-of-the-art technology and other advances in the behavioral health field;


  • Participate in initial and annual clinical privileging;


  • Provide documentation of professional licensure, certification or other credentials as needed;


  • Demonstrate competency in all previously listed treatment principles; and


  • Provide services within the scope of practice of their respective credentials and job descriptions, and in accordance with all applicable federal, state or local laws and other regulations.


  1. Each consumer who desires to work will be assisted internally or via referral, to overcome or address symptoms that interfere with seeking, obtaining, or maintaining a job.

  New Horizons staff strives to:  

  • Utilize and/or seek out evidence-based and best-practice interventions to assist consumers to overcome or address symptoms that interfere with employment; and


  • Work with consumers and their families/natural supports to include vocational and/or employment goals on their treatment plans and to provide supports to assist consumers to achieve their goals.


  1. Each consumer should experience coordinated services that promote accurate diagnosis and treatment, improve their experience of care, and enhance their health and wellness outcomes.

  New Horizons staff strives to:  

  • Work with consumers and their families/natural supports to include health/wellness goals on their treatment plans and to provide supports to assist consumers to achieve their goals;


  • Link multiple services, healthcare providers and community resources, including primary care providers, hospitals, health homes, and vocational rehabilitation and employment providers to meet consumers’ needs;


  • Ensure the flow of timely information among care providers;


  • Work collaboratively to address priorities, resolve differences, and schedule appointments in the best interest of consumers;


  • Provide or arrange access to services that focus on benefits and financial counseling, transportation, home care, social services, peer support and medications for substance use disorders;


  • Utilize healthcare home strategies to assist consumers with chronic disease(s);


  • Connect consumers who cannot be served by New Horizons to other appropriate services; and


  • Follow-up with consumers who miss appointments or drop out of services.