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Supporting Choice

Helping Others Make Important Decisions

A Step-by-Step Approach

This workbook is part of a set of materials designed to promote and support shared decision making in mental health. These materials include printed descriptive and informational materials, step-by-step decision making workbooks, videos and user guides, worksheets and tools, tip sheets, podcasts and archived webinars, and an interactive decision aid on using antipsychotic medications as part of a recovery plan.

This workbook is part of the Federal Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) project on Shared Decision Making in Mental Health. This project provides tools to help people who use mental health services and people who provide services to have more collaborative and productive conversations about all aspects of a person’s mental health recovery plan.


People make decisions every day about their lives, relationships, health care, and services. Some decisions are easy to make, but others may feel difficult and stressful. These feelings are natural, but no one makes good decisions if the feelings become overwhelming. You can help people reduce stress and make better

choices by supporting their use of steps to think through their situation and options.

This workbook is designed to assist you in helping someone make a difficult decision. It presents a way of simultaneously providing support and helping people learn how to make decisions independently. It uses a simple tool called TRIP MAP to walk through the steps of making a decision.


The steps are:

  1. Think about the problems, pressures, people, and priorities
  2. Research facts and possible solutions
  3. Identify options 
  4. Weigh the Pluses and 
  5. Minuses for each option
  6. Action planning
  7. Ponder the results of the decision

To learn more about shared decision making tools & resources click the button below.

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