Anyone familiar with the Recovery Movement is aware of the fact that there is a struggle going on right now within the mental health industry.
This is most clearly contrasted between the “non-recovery environment” and the “recovery environment.” I learned this in Peer Employment Training or PET.
As you all know a non recovery environment there is very low expectations on the part of people suffering mental illness to ever really recover. There is little to no access to information, where compliance is valued above all things and coercion is used to achieve that compliance in many cases. Its a “one size fits all” treatment approach to mental illness.
A non recovery environment is a place where people are judged, not by their humanity and independence but by their diagnosis, as well their level of motivation to achieve someone else’s standard or goals. And its where “medication” is the primary tool of treatment for mental illness.
Where maintenance and stability is the goal and people live in hospital like settings, group homes and “treatment centers.”
In the recovery environment, there are high expectations on the part of people suffering from mental illness. People are the “experts” in their own care and treatment. Where there is easy access to information.
Its a place where self determination, critical thinking and independence are valued. A place of opportunities, hope and integration that offers a wide range of programs and non program options.
Its a place medication is just one of several tools available to people, not the only one.
For me personally I see this contrast most starkly in a clinical setting. Where simple things like a bus pass, which are necessary in some cases to allow people freedom and choice to fully engage within their respective community, are only “given” out if you attend so many groups, go to all your doctor appointments, case manager meetings and follow all the arbitrary rules and regulations they establish for you, as measures of success in their eyes – not yours!
Its why Recovery Innovations Inc., is such a “beacon” of hope in many ways, especially in the lives of so many people with mental illness who are referred there by provider networks all across the valley of the sun (Phoenix, Arizona).
Indeed these are exciting times we live in today, because Recovery Innovations is going to establish, perhaps for the first time, a recovery based clinical setting in Phoenix at the central campus.
If successful it will serve as a new model within the mental health community for other around the world to emulate.
Our Mission: “To create opportunities and environments that empower people to recover, to succeed in accomplishing their goals, and to reconnect to themselves, others, and meaning and purpose in life.”
See also Recovery Innovations Inc. website http://recoveryinnovations.org/
See related article: History of the Recovery Movement http://www.recoverywithinreach.org/Recovery/history