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SAMHSA News - March/April 2006, Volume 14, Number 2

Consensus Statement Defines Mental Health Recovery

SAMHSA recently unveiled a consensus statement outlining principles necessary to achieve mental health recovery. The consensus statement, developed through deliberations by more than 110 expert panelists, represents mental health consumers, families, providers, advocates, researchers, managed care organizations, state and local public officials, and others.

"Recovery must be the common, recognized outcome of the services we support," said SAMHSA Administrator Charles G. Curie, M.A., A.C.S.W. "This consensus statement on mental health recovery provides essential guidance."

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Fundamentals of Recovery

The Consensus Statement defines mental health recovery as "a journey of healing and transformation enabling a person with a mental health problem to live a meaningful life in a community of his or her choice while striving to achieve his or her potential."

The 10 fundamental components of mental health recovery include the following principles:

Self-Direction. Consumers determine their own path of recovery with their autonomy, independence, and control of resources.

Individualized and Person-Centered. There are multiple pathways to recovery based on an individual's unique strengths as well as his or her needs, preferences, experiences, and cultural background.

Empowerment. Consumers have the authority to participate in all decisions that will affect their lives, and they are educated and supported in this process.

Holistic. Recovery encompasses an individual's whole life, including mind, body, spirit, and community. Recovery embraces all aspects of life, including housing, social networks, employment, education, mental health and health care treatment, and family supports.

Non-Linear. Recovery is not a step-by step process but one based on continual growth, occasional setbacks, and learning from experience.

Strengths-Based. Recovery focuses on valuing and building on the multiple capacities, resiliencies, talents, coping abilities, and inherent worth of individuals. The process of recovery moves forward through interaction with others in supportive, trust-based relationships.

Peer Support. Mutual support plays an invaluable role in recovery. Consumers encourage and engage others in recovery and provide each other with a sense of belonging.

Respect. Eliminating discrimination and stigma are crucial in achieving recovery. Self-acceptance and regaining belief in oneself are particularly vital.

Responsibility. Consumers have a personal responsibility for their own self-care and journeys of recovery. Consumers identify coping strategies and healing processes to promote their own wellness.

Hope. Hope is the catalyst of the recovery process and provides the essential and motivating message of a positive future. Peers, families, friends, providers, and others can help foster hope.

The National Consensus Statement on Mental Health Recovery is available at SAMHSA's National Mental Health Information Center at www.mentalhealth.samhsa.gov/publications/
or 1 (800) 789-2647. End of Article

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Inside This Issue

Incarceration vs. Treatment: Drug Courts
Part 1
Part 2

From the Administrator: Drug Courts Yield Benefits

SAMHSA Announces Funding Opportunities

$3.3 Billion Budget Proposed for SAMHSA

Consensus Statement Defines Recovery

Crisis Counseling Grants Help Hurricane Survivors

Methamphetamine Abuse

Reach Out Now Offers Materials to Schools

Town Hall Meetings on Underage Drinking

Obtaining Benefits: Help for Case Managers

Annual Voice Awards Set for August

Hepatitis Vaccination Pilot Program Launched

'Partners for Recovery' Posts Web Site

Mental Health Action Plan Meeting Held

1.8 Million Youth Initiate Inhalant Abuse

New Treatment Reports Highlight Retirees, Youth

Toolkit Supports Refugee Mental Health

Recovery Web Cast Highlights Veterans

Changes Made to National Registry

Upcoming Conference on Women & Recovery

SAMHSA Wins "Emmy" Award

SAMHSA News Information

SAMHSA News - March/April 2006, Volume 14, Number 2