Self Directed Support

Self Directed Support (SDS) puts you in charge of making the decisions that will help you to live the life you want to live.

Self Directed Support (SDS) 

Putting you in charge of your support

If you are looking for or receive support from your social work or housing department, there is now another way for you to access that support. It’s called Self Directed Support or SDS and it puts you in charge of making the decisions that will help you to live the life you want to live.

Self Directed Support can help you to make positive changes to your life if you have a mental health issue. It can allow you to arrange some, or all of your support, instead of it being arranged by your Local Authority. The focus is on you having choices about how the money you are allocated is spent. Most people who use social work services can use SDS and this includes people receiving direct payments.

So how does SDS work?

You can choose for your Local Authority to arrange support for you, or you can be in control of arranging your own support or have a mix of these two.

For instance, you could choose to get help with support to get out of the house, manage your financial or household tasks, join in activities or go to work, volunteer or college.

You can also buy support (e.g. a Support Worker or befriending volunteer) from relevant organisations or employ staff (e.g. a Personal Assistant).

There are four different options for you to choose from:

Option 1 – You receive a Direct Payment and organise and pay for services yourself to meet your outcomes.

Option 2 – You are allocated an Individual Service Fund, which is the budget for the services needed to meet your outcomes. Your Local Authority, a voluntary organisation or a service provider can manage this Fund on your behalf. 

Option 3 – Your Local Authority Council organises and pays for your support for you (which is how most people currently receive their support).

Option 4 – You can mix any of the options above.

Want to find out more?

Health in Mind has produced a clear guide, which makes it easy to find out more about SDS. The guide gives you lots of easy to read information and explains how to get started, highlights the experiences of people currently using it and outlines what you need to do to access SDS. You can read our information guide on Self Directed Support here.  


Need help now?

If you or someone you care for is facing a crisis and in distress, please contact NHS 24 on 111 or your GP directly.

Click here for further information and contact details.

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