How We Change Lives
SASHA’s approach to supporting and empowering individuals with mental illness is unique. We believe in each person’s capacity and ability to manage their life. SASHA’s role is to meet people where they are at, help them express where they want to go, and provide the skills, development, and, encouragement to support them getting there.
We walk beside our clients on their journey to establishing a healthy, independent life.
How do we do it?
1. No Judgement
We accept everyone for who they are. There is zero judgement at SASHA. Everyone is welcome, regardless of their diagnosis or circumstances. We see our clients as human beings worthy of acceptance and love exactly as they are.
2. Clear Expectations
We are very clear from the start what SASHA expects of our clients and their families. Most SASHA clients will live in group homes and will have a roommate. Expectations include all clients sharing household chores, keeping themselves clean, doing their laundry, taking their medications, and participating in appropriate group activities.
Having clear expectations explained right at the start ensures that there are no surprises. We value honest and direct communication, and believe this approach empowers our clients to be fully informed before making the choice to join SASHA programs.
3. Empowering Choice
SASHA clients make their own decisions. This approach is critical to success. Independent, healthy living is not possible if an individual is not able to make their own choices.
SASHA’s role is to help our clients understand the choices available to them. We do not determine a person’s path – that is up to the individual. We support our clients in building the stability, skills and ability to make their best choices based on what they want for their life.
We also help our clients learn from the choices they make. Every decision has an outcome, and in teaching our clients to assess the results of their decisions, we build their confidence and aptitude to make better decisions in the future.
4. Responsibility and Accountability
We hold our clients accountable. Period.
Every SASHA client undertakes specific responsibilities – to their own self, to their housemates, and to SASHA programming. These responsibilities are carefully and jointly determined by the client and SASHA staff, ensuring that the choice is ultimately with the client. Once those choices are made, we expect the client to fulfil their responsibilities.
Enforcing responsibility and accountability is what builds capacity for healthy, independent living. Enabling individuals to not take accountability for their actions is the opposite of showing respect, and only serves to reinforce that they are not capable.
We stand beside our clients as they are accountable for their decisions. We celebrate their achievements, and help them pick up the pieces if something goes wrong. SASHA believes that every one of our clients is capable and deserving of the right to be responsible for their own choices.
5. Never Give Up
Many individuals with severe and persistent mental illness have given up on themselves, and have displayed behaviours that caused family, friends and employers to give up on them as well. We understand how this happens, and do not judge.
One the biggest discoveries our clients make is that at SASHA, we do not give up on you. This may be the most challenging part of what we do at SASHA, but it is vital. We teach our clients that they are not victims – they are survivors - and we do not give up on them as they navigate the tough, painful, scary and stressful path to learning to manage their mental illness.
By never giving up on them, SASHA clients learn that that they are worthy of love, and can start to love themselves. This is the foundation for the strongest capacity building towards heathy, independent living.
SASHA clients are forever part of our SASHA family. We do not give up on them.