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Implementing Recovery-based Care: Tangible Guidance for SMHAs - page 21 / 44





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NASMHPD/NTAC e-Report on Recovery – Fall 2004

Find a way to sustain services rather than having them be short-lived crisis services. Recovery is a journey, not a quick fix.

Redo your language—from missions and goals, to forms and everyday paperwork—to reflect non-stigmatizing recovery nomenclature (visit http://www.uspra.org/pdf/langGuidelines.pdf for language guidance).

Consider changing the role of consumers in the system to students, peers, or teachers. Making their role more valued by society is a huge step in helping people recover.

Understand that this is a long-term project and that there is no single approach to implementing recovery-based care. One of the most important tasks for commissioners is to institutionalize this effort so that it is not driven by an individual person.

Avoid being heavily ideological. Set “do-able” goals for the first year so you can see gains, then move on from there.

Show concrete differences in how recovery-based care is provided/delivered, with specific examples of a recovery plan versus a treatment plan.

Put a structure in place that will help to build the framework for recovery efforts, then get out of the way. The system’s consumers, providers, and other stakeholders will take it over, and you can serve as the effort’s biggest supporter.

“To me a recovery-oriented system helps the person to not only understand what his disorder is, but it also shows him how to manage it while using the tools of recovery,” said Kirk. “The tools can be medication, diet, therapy—any number of things to manage the illness. It is the consumer’s choice, and they have to be part of the journey. It’s not us doing it for them, it’s us doing it with them.”

For more information on META Services, visit www.metaservices.com. For info on the Connecticut Department of Mental Health & Addiction Services, visit www.dmhas.state.ct.us.


Campbell, J., & Leaver, J. (2003). Emerging new practices in organized peer support. Report from NTAC’s National Experts Meeting on Emerging New Practices in Organized Peer Support March 17-18, 2003, Alexandria, VA. Alexandria, VA: National Association of State Mental Health Program Directors (NASMHPD), National Technical Assistance Center for State Mental Health Planning (NTAC).

NASMHPD/NTAC e-Report on Recovery – Fall 2004

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