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December 15, 2011 Volume 2, Issue 45
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please visit http://www.dsgonline.com/rtp/resources.html.
The RTP Weekly Highlights archive is a virtual library of information on recovery. Topics range from peer specialist training and recovery-oriented systems to personal accounts of addiction, mental illness, and wellness. If you have missed a week's publication, check out volumes 1 and 2—more than 70 archived issues are available. recoverytopractice@dsgonline.com.

Working Together, Part II
by Carrie Nathans
This Weekly Highlight continues to explore the connections between five behavioral health care organizations and their dedication to awareness, acceptance, and adoption of Recovery to Practice (RTP) principles.

Last week's issue summarized the presentations conducted during an October 27 RTP panel session at the 2011 Alternatives Conference. The following day, members of the five professional organizations led a workshop at the American Psychiatric Association (ApA) Institute on Psychiatric Services (IPS) in San Francisco, California. IPS is an annual meeting designed to educate and support those who provide care for people struggling with mental illness, substance abuse, or other behavioral health challenges resulting from traumatic experiences or events. The program was inspired by objectives similar to those of RTP, and serves a broad mission to improve the quality and availability of treatments.

The professional disciplines and RTP project directors have identified venues where the concept of recovery can benefit from increased exposure, such as national conferences that spotlight behavioral health care. Although the presentations are developed jointly by the organizations, they are delivered by different representatives involved in the project, including members of the RTP Steering and Advisory Committees—two councils of behavioral health practitioners, peer support specialists, and consumers. Because each organization alternates the task of presenting at these conferences, project ownership and accountability are equally shared among the participants.

The IPS workshop, "Recovery-oriented Practice—A Multidisciplinary Perspective," was another quintessential example of how peer specialists, psychiatric nurses, social workers, psychiatrists, and psychologists are coordinating their efforts to actualize the concept of recovery and lay the groundwork for holistic behavioral health care, where consumer rights and interests guide the course of treatment. During this well-attended session, the American Psychological Association, American Psychiatric Nurses Association, Council on Social Work Education, and American Psychiatric Association and American Association of Community Psychiatrists provided updates on the progress of recovery-oriented training curricula and modules.

American Psychological Association (APA)
The development of APA's training manual has been shaped by the association's goal to infuse hope into behavioral health prognoses and mobilize mental health policy and service delivery systems where psychologists have significant roles. During their presentation, Mary A. Jansen, PhD, a member of the APA Recovery Advisory Committee, outlined how the association would approach and implement training focused on the individual, his or her valued place in the community, and self-determined choices on a journey for achieving wellness. APA's curriculum, which will consist of a two-semester course, is intended for doctoral-level psychologists.

American Psychiatric Nurses Association (APNA)
RTP Steering Committee member and Curriculum Committee Co-Chair Kris McLoughlin, DNP, APRN, BC, CADC-II, presented an overview of two educational modules—the basis of APNA's proposed training for psychiatric nurses. Module 1 examined the nature of recovery itself, including where and when it occurs and who it involves. The history of recovery and its application to discipline-guiding principles and practices are core elements of this module, which distinguishes recovery as a "lived" experience and assesses its role in in-patient settings. Module 2 outlined the scope of recovery and standards of practice, including the integration of recovery principles in nursing interventions, development of a recovery-oriented therapeutic environment, and the nurse as a recovery and patient advocate. APNA's presentation focused on nurses' longstanding ability to care for and assist people with health challenges and their capacity as part of an interdisciplinary team to communicate a "people-first" philosophy.

Council on Social Work Education (CSWE)
In a presentation titled "Developing a Mental Health Recovery Curriculum: Social Work," CSWE's RTP Project Director Jessica Holmes focused on second-year initiatives to identify core training competencies, pilot test their recovery curriculum, and conduct training for field instructors, practitioners, and other students. She discussed training venues such as CSWE's Annual Program Meeting, and platforms for broad dissemination, Webinars, and Web site expansion. Jessica also addressed curriculum content, which will cover a wide range of relevant recovery topics. One theme was "culturally competent practice," an approach that considers an individual's whole self, including his or her spiritual and cultural background. Another theme concerned co-occurring disorders, like mental illness and substance abuse and/or physical ailments. Their competencies will also address growth of the field, including workforce demands for professionals in integrated behavioral health and primary care settings.

American Psychiatric Association and America Association of Community Psychiatrists (ApA & AACP)
"Recovery services require strong teams" was the theme of ApA and AACP's presentation, which began by recognizing their strong partnership with the RTP Advisory and Work Groups—two committees that have contributed to curriculum development. ApA and AACP's efforts have reached beyond the individual capabilities of any one person or psychiatrist to offer diverse expertise and expanded services only a team of practitioners can provide. "A team can create a culture of acceptance—welcoming, engaging, and emotionally connecting to people who are often rejected because of stigma and discrimination," said ApA's Deputy Medical Director Annelle Primm, MD, MPH. Dr. Primm described how training would include everyone involved in the recovery journey, especially the consumer, who has unique insight into the healing process. Educating psychiatrists on recovery-oriented practices will help trainees develop strategies for incorporating culturally appropriate and trauma-informed care, working with peer specialists, and promoting goal setting and self-sufficiency.

Bringing recovery-oriented treatment into the mainstream of professional practice requires collaboration among behavioral health professions. The RTP initiative will continue to leverage the strengths and expertise of disciplines that are embracing recovery concepts, promoting education to resolve confusion about mental illness and substance abuse, and building a framework for recovery that will revolutionize behavioral health care.

Carrie Nathans is the RTP editor at Development Services Group, Inc.

To access the professional disciplines' PowerPoint presentations from the Institute on Psychiatric Services, click here.

Save the Date for an Upcoming RTP Webinar:
"Assessing for and Addressing Trauma in Recovery-Oriented Practice"
This session will help practitioners determine when and how extensively traumatic experiences have affected people with behavioral health conditions. In a comprehensive discussion on trauma-informed care, presenters will describe a range of supports, tools, and interventions to address the role of trauma in recovery.

January 25, 2012

3–4:30 p.m. EST

Three multidisciplinary practitioners will share their perspectives on the differences between trauma-informed systems and other systems of care, including how assessment incorporates approaches to ensure safety, meet the consumer's needs, and minimize distressing events that could harm the client or staff.

To register for the Webinar, click here.

CASD Research and Practice Briefs
The Center on Adherence and Self-Determination (CASD) researches ways for people with serious mental illness to achieve their recovery goals. One of the issues CASD has explored is how people in recovery pursue and sustain meaningful careers.

In the fourth of a Research and Practice Briefs (R&PBs) series, CASD discusses barriers and incentives related to securing employment, particularly as they are perceived by people with psychiatric illness. The R&PB aims to improve employment outcomes by examining the link between incentives and an individual's commitment to obtaining work. It describes motivational interviewing, a technique for identifying personal obstacles and reasons for pursuing employment.

See www.adherenceandselfdetermination.org for more information.

Staying Healthy During the Holidays
According to a recent Weight Watchers report, the average American gains about 7–10 pounds between Thanksgiving and New Year's Day. Although food is an important part of celebrating the holidays, overindulging can signal more serious issues, like loneliness and depression. When emotions run high at family gatherings and social events, many people see food and alcohol as a welcome distraction from holiday woes. Whether due to family issues or a buildup of stress throughout the year, people must address the underlying causes of these binges. Here are a few tips to ward off holiday excess:
  1. Exercise. Stick to a regular exercise regimen to burn off extra calories.
  2. Use alternative cooking methods. Try low-calorie sprays or butter substitutes in your recipes. Steam or roast vegetables to lock in nutrients and flavor.
  3. Consume low-fat snacks. Eat low-fat, healthy snacks before heading to a big party or dinner.
  4. Avoid sugary foods. They may provide a short-term energy boost, but quickly leave you hungry again and craving more.
  5. Limit alcohol intake. Alcohol can contribute to weight gain and trigger addictive behavior. Limit the number of alcoholic beverages you consume at parties and family gatherings.
Distinguishing holiday blues from more serious conditions can be difficult. Visit the National Institute of Mental Health for more information about diagnosing depression.

The RTP Resource Center Wants to Hear From
Recovery-Oriented Practitioners!
We invite practitioners to submit personal stories that describe how they became involved in recovery-
oriented work and how it has changed the way they practice.
The RTP Resource Center Wants to Hear From You, Too!
We invite you to submit personal stories that describe recovery experiences. To submit stories or other recovery resources, please contact Cheryl Tutt, MSW, at 877.584.8535,
or email recoverytopractice@dsgonline.com.

We welcome your views, comments, suggestions, and inquiries.
For more information on this topic or any other recovery topics,
please contact the RTP Resource Center at
877.584.8535, or email recoverytopractice@dsgonline.com.

The views, opinions, and content of this Weekly Highlight are those of the authors, and do not necessarily reflect
the views, opinions, or policies of SAMHSA or the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services.