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Wellness and Recovery Programs: A Model of Self-Advocacy for People Living with Mental Illness


Journal of Psychiatric Practice: May 2013 - Volume 19 - Issue 3 - p 242–246
doi: 10.1097/01.pra.0000430509.82885.d2
COLUMNS: Advocacy

People living withmental illnesses, their family members, and advocacy groups have long encouragedthemental health system toadoptagreater focuson wellness and recovery. A superficial interpretation of wellness and recovery may cause some clinicians to devalue the possibility and importance of wellness and recovery for thepeople theyserve, and thismay inhibit or disrupt the development of a working therapeutic relationship. Thiscolumn reviews definitions of wellness and recovery and their applicability toserious mental illnessesand provides an overview of several programs that promote wellness and recovery. In addition to peer-led courses, ongoing peersupport and a range of applications for mobile devices canhelpconsumers lead a self-directed and affirming life that facilitates symptom management and reduction and maximizes wellness. By understanding wellness and recovery and how people living with mental illnesses achieve these goals, psychiatrists may build rapport with their patients and improve outcomes. By familiarizing oneself with new resources available to people with serious mental illness, mental health cliniciansmay beable tosuggestsupportsthat extend farbeyond thetimeconstraints of ourcur- renttreatment model. (Journal of Psychiatric Practice 2013;19:242–246)

Anand Pandya, MD: Associate Clinical Professor,Department of Psychiatry and Behavioral Neurosciences, UCLA School of Medicine, Los Angeles, CA; KerisJänMyrick, MBA, MS, PhDc: President, National Allianceon MentalIllness(NAMI); President and CEO at the Project Return Peer Support Network.

Sources of support: Dr. Pandya worksasa consultant for the National Allianceon Mental Illness.

© 2013 by Lippincott Williams & Wilkins, Inc.