Self-Help Booklets Promote Mental Health Recovery
By Shelly Burgess and Peggy Dillon
A new series of self-help guides for people with mental health
disabilities offers practical and positive advice on topics ranging
from making friends to developing a wellness lifestyle to reducing
the effects of trauma.
The six booklets, released in July by SAMHSA's Center for Mental
Health Services (CMHS), are part of a publication series titled
Recovering Your Mental Health. They offer specific information
guided by an understanding of consumer self-help issues and are
intended to enhance the quality of life for people from a variety
of backgrounds. The booklets, ranging in length from 30 to 50 pages,
are titled Action Planning for Prevention and Recovery, Dealing
With the Effects of Trauma, Speaking Out for Yourself, Developing
a Recovery and Wellness Lifestyle, Building Self-Esteem, and
Making and Keeping Friends. They are available as single copies
or in a packet containing all six copies, along with the original
publication titled Recovering Your Mental Health: A Self-help
Guide, published in 2001.
"The self-care skills and strategies outlined in the guides
can be used to complement other mental health care treatment,"
said SAMHSA Administrator Charles G. Curie, M.A., A.C.S.W. "The
guides offer practical steps that people need to keep in mind as
they work on their own recovery."
Former CMHS Director Bernard S. Arons, M.D., said, "These
user-friendly guides will help people living with mental illness
to achieve wellness, stability, and recovery."
Each booklet contains ideas, strategies, and resources that people
from all walks of life have found helpful in managing their own
illnesses and obtaining services, and in relieving and preventing
feelings of mental and emotional distress.
- Action Planning for Prevention and Recovery gives simple,
low-cost ideas for maintaining and supporting mental health, such
as developing a "Wellness Toolbox" and a daily maintenance plan,
and identifying and dealing with trigger factors for stressful
- Dealing With the Effects of Trauma discusses the difficulties
in dealing with and overcoming upsetting, frightening, and traumatic
events, and offers ways to heal and feel better on a daily basis.
- Speaking Out for Yourself tells people with emotional
or psychological disorders how to advocate effectively for themselves
and become their "own best champion."
- Developing a Recovery and Wellness Lifestyle talks
about ways people can take charge of their lives, whether it's
taking a course, eating less fast food, obtaining good health
care, or getting enough exercise.
- Building Self-Esteem helps readers find ways to feel
better about themselves, such as attending to their needs and
wants, changing negative thoughts about themselves to positive
ones, and engaging in activities that make them feel good about
- Making and Keeping Friends describes ways to meet new
people, keep friendships strong, establish and honor boundaries,
and resolve relationship problems.
Single copies of the six Recovering Your Mental Health
guides, or packets of all six, along with the booklet Recovering
Your Mental Health: A Self-help Guide, are available free of
charge by contacting SAMHSA's National Mental Health Services Knowledge
Exchange Network at P.O. Box 42490, Washington, DC 20015. Telephone:
1 (800) 789-2647 or 1 (866) 889-2647 (TTY). Or log on to www.mentalhealth.samhsa.gov,
click on publications.
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