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Implementing Recovery-based Care: Tangible Guidance for SMHAs - page 15 / 44





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NASMHPD/NTAC e-Report on Recovery – Fall 2004

together in ways that really share power, risk, and expertise. It must be a process in which everyone moves out of old, comfortable roles and begins to talk about mutuality, boundaries, risk, and who gets to define and decide on treatment. For this to happen, everyone involved must challenge his or herself to respond in new ways.

In addition, we need to have inclusive up-front conversations about power and how we perceive power. Although it is nice to say the words “partnership” and “collaboration,” they are empty unless there is some talk about each of our pre-conceived notions and the reality of choice. By speaking directly about who has the power to do what, and what that means in a collaborative relationship, we can establish guidelines and strategies for handling difficult situations and working through potential conflict without coercion.

Finally, if we are to research and evaluate recovery, it is important to understand the cultural shift in mental health. We need to see beyond measuring “how people are doing” and to see beyond getting a job or fewer hospitalizations as meaningful outcomes.  Qualitative research that examines people’s stories will help us look at the extent to which relationships, dynamics, and assumptions are changing, and help us to see how they need to change to support recovery and life transformation. We must all hold ourselves truly accountable to meaningful system change, leaving behind the “mental illness lens.” Rather, we must see people as whole human beings who can cope with adversity and determine the course of their own existence.

NASMHPD/NTAC e-Report on Recovery – Fall 2004

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