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For more information

For a more detailed discussion of the project and the implementation strategies, refer to the enclosed Psychiatric Services articles:

Drake RE, Goldman HH, Leff HS, et al: Implementing evidence-based practices in routine mental health service settings. Psychiatric Services 52:179-182, 2001.

Torrey WC, Drake RE, Dixon L, et al: Implementing evidence-based practices for persons with severe mental illnesses. Psychiatric Services 52:45-50, 2001.

Project Philosophy and Values

The project rests on two philosophical tenets:

First, mental health services for people with severe mental illnesses should have the goal of helping people to develop high-quality, satisfying functional lives. That is, services should aim not just at helping consumers stay out of the hospital and reducing or stabilizing symptoms, but also at helping them to pursue their own personal recovery process. People want services that help them to manage their illnesses and to move ahead with their lives.

Second, consumers and their families have a right to information about effective treatments, and in areas where evidence-based practices exist, consumers and family members have a right to access effective services.

Evidence-based practices are not intended to be exclusive, mandatory, or rigid. Rather, they imply self-knowledge, self-determination, choice, individualization, and recovery.

Defining recovery

There have been many efforts to define the recovery philosophy. The Consumer Advisory Panel for the Implementing Evidence-Based Practices Project drafted the following brief statement. The principles of recovery that informed the development of the implementation resource kit materials are:



  • hope

  • personal responsibility

  • education

The cessation of symptoms is not necessarily equal to recovery. Each person develops their own definition of recovery, which many view as a process rather than a destination. It is important to know what is meant by "support." While the support of others is a valuable element in recovery, it does not include solving problems for another person or giving advice.

Empowerment is another critical component to recovery. A person becomes dis-empowered when choices are made for them, even when well-meaning supporters do it. Disempowerment also occurs when assumptions or judgments are made concerning an individual and their choices.

Recovery is most easily achievable when a person and those around them recognize the individual as a whole and complete person regardless of symptoms. One of the most valuable things a person can do for someone with psychiatric symptoms is to listen.

Family Psychoeducation Toolkit


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