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Implementing Recovery-based Care: Tangible Guidance for SMHAs - page 27 / 44

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NASMHPD/NTAC e-Report on Recovery – Fall 2004

taking on normal social roles, having positive relationships, identifying and building on personal strengths, having one’s basic needs met, self-help and peer support, and others.

In order to assess the recovery orientation of the agency, people rate the current status of three specific staff behaviors or services that support each recovery element. Consumer perceptions are also gathered on the importance and existence of qualities of the service environment that have been found to enhance the potential for resilience. These include the presence of caring and compassionate helpers; opportunities for meaningful participation and contribution; being connected to others in positive ways; and feeling valued, respected, and powerful, among others. The degree to which the agency meets the perceived needs of people on dual journeys of recovery (those who experience dual diagnoses, trauma survivors), those from minority cultural backgrounds and sexual orientations, and recipients who are parents is also examined.

Findings

The findings of the pilots show that mental health recovery is a multi-dimensional process. People are able to place themselves within a particular stage of recovery. Most people are in an active phase of recovery, but many are not yet in recovery, a few experience setbacks, and some view themselves as fully recovered, but having to maintain their gains. Many respondents have one or more special needs. Almost all people can identify at least a few indicators of recovery in their lives, and many are able to claim several markers of personal recovery. These markers include being involved in productive activities, having trusted people to turn to for help, having goals one is working to achieve, controlling important decisions, feeling hopeful about the future, having one’s symptoms under control, working, having a sense of belonging, and several others. These markers have performed well as a measure of change over time in other research. People gain ground concurrent with, or in part due to, exposure to recovery-enhancing programming.  

REE begins to define a complex set of activities that enhance the potential for recovery from the perspective of service recipients. Consumers were able to differentiate higher performing programs from lower performing programs on the basis of statistically significant differences in the mean rating of program performance, as well as significant differences within and among programs along specific dimensions of practice.

Listening to the Voice of Lived Experience

The REE includes open-ended questions that ask people about the lessons they have learned in their own recovery and that give advice to staff and to others just starting out on a journey of recovery. These data were analyzed by themes. A few quotes give the flavor of the wisdom people generously shared.

“Never give up on you. Keep your head up. Everyone else might give up,

but don’t give up on you, because if you do, there is nothing else to live for.

Do the best you can do every day. Never quit. Don’t say I can’t. Can’t never

NASMHPD/NTAC e-Report on Recovery – Fall 2004

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