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PERSONAL STORIES


The RTP Recovery Resource library includes a collection of personal stories that have been contributed by a range of professionals and consumers. Some of these have been written exclusively for RTP. Others were created and are “owned” elsewhere—and posted on or linked to this Web site. Each contribution is identified by title, author, abstract, and date of contribution.


Search Results: 167 Personal Stories - These results are filtered by Personal stories




By: Judi Chamberlin   |  04/02/2010   |   Content Type: Personal stories
A famous comedian once said, "I've been rich, and I've been poor, and believe me, rich is better." Well, I've been a good patient, and I've been a bad patient, and believe me, being a good patient helps to get you out of the hospital, but being a bad patient helps to get you back to real life. Being a patient was the most devastating experience of my life. At a time when I was already fragile, already vulnerable, being labeled and treated only confirmed to me that I was worthless. It was clear ...
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By: Mary Ellen Copeland   |  04/02/2010   |   Content Type: Personal stories
In my work, I sometimes feel that there is an epidemic of low self-esteem. Even people who seem to be very sure of themselves will admit to having low self-esteem, a feeling that often makes them unhappy and keeps them from doing some of the things they want to do and being the kind of person they want to be. In fact, they may say that low self-esteem causes, or worsens, their bouts with depression and anxiety. I know this has been a big factor in my life. I feel that I am always working on r...
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By: Patricia E. Deegan   |  04/02/2010   |   Content Type: Personal stories
Recovery is often defined conservatively as returning to a stable baseline or former level of functioning. However many people, including myself, have experienced recovery as a transformative process in which the old self is gradually let go of and a new sense of self emerges. In this paper I will share my personal experience of recovery as a self-directed process of healing and transformation and offer some suggestions as to how professionals can support the recovery process.
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By: Patricia E. Deegan   |  04/02/2010   |   Content Types: Clinical tools, Personal stories
Meeting with a psychiatrist during "medication appointments" is usually a very disempowering experience. The meetings usually last for 15 or 20 minutes. During the meeting we are expected to answer a few perfunctory questions and to leave with prescriptions for powerful drugs that can dramatically alter the quality of our lives. In these meetings the psychiatrist assumes a position of power and we usually fulfill the expected role of being a quiet, unquestioning, passive patient. Subsequently we...
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By: Rebecca Jones, Janice Chesters, Meredith Fletcher   |  04/02/2010   |   Content Types: Article, Personal stories, Research
To be successful, community integrated supported public housing for people with psychiatric disability, must not only provide shelter but must also allow people to make the house a home. This study explores the ways people with psychiatric disability in an Australian supported public housing program experience their houses. The supported public housing program evaluated is SNAP Gippsland Inc. located in regional Victoria, Australia. This study employs in-depth, semi-structured interviews to expl...
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By: David Kavich   |  04/02/2010   |   Content Types: Article, Personal stories
It happens to me, too; probably to everyone – I'm all depressed and I'm not sure why. Or I just hit the roof and, looking back, the thing I reacted to really seems trivial. Often, I just say, "Oh, well…" and go on. Emotions are complicated things and, though some of us tend to be overly preoccupied with them, a little attention to these "head-scratcher" incidents can help us to gradually gain insight into ourselves.
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By: Mark Ragins   |  4/12/2010   |   Content Types: Article, Personal stories
A dramatization of what it’s like to walk into a skeptical room trying to push recovery.
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By: Karl   |  4/14/2010   |   Content Type: Personal stories
A time comes in your life when you finally get it. When in the midst of all your fears and insanity you stop dead in your tracks and somewhere the voice inside your head cries out - ENOUGH!
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By: Pam McGrath, Vivian Jarrett   |  4/20/2010   |   Content Types: Article, Personal stories, Research
It has only been in very recent times that the notion of ‘recovery’ from mental illness has begun to gain wide acceptance. The 1990s was labelled the ‘decade of recovery’ to signify a paradigm shift from the notion of mental illness as a predictable deteriorative/ maintenance course to an understanding of the potential for recovery. It is now considered possible for individuals to recover fully from even the most severe forms of mental illness. Increasingly in the literature it is emphasised tha...
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By: Reneé Kopache   |  4/27/2010   |   Content Type: Personal stories
During the past year I’ve spoken to mental health professionals at various functions about recovery from mental illness and my personal recovery experiences. The opportunity to speak about my mental illness and my recovery from it has been tremendously healing and has further enhanced my recovery. Likewise, provider feedback has indicated that, by sharing their experiences, consumers have helped mental health professionals gain a better understanding of mental health recovery.
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By: Mark Ragins   |  4/27/2010   |   Content Types: Article, Outcome tools, Personal stories
In our more expansive moments at the Village we believe we are part of a revolution in the way we work with people with serious mental illnesses and we are infused with a sense of mission. Recently I noticed, however, that two other medical fields, obstetrics and oncology have already substantially achieved the revolution we've envisioned. I've decided to be encouraged rather than chagrined by this discovery. They have achieved their revolutions without the aid of any dramatic technical or clini...
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By: Ed. L.   |  4/27/2010   |   Content Type: Personal stories
I am sharing my story in the hopes that I will leave a lasting gift and that it will give hope of recovery to my brothers and sisters who come after me.
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By: Debbie Sesula   |  4/28/2010   |   Content Types: Personal stories, Poem
This is a poem.
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By: Andrea Schmook   |  4/28/2010   |   Content Types: Article, Personal stories
(The Experience of Recovery: Edited by LeRoy Spaniol and Martin Koehler)
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By: Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA)   |  8/2/2010   |   Content Types: Personal stories, Practice description, Web site
The stories of mental illness are as varied as we are. The following stories are from real people who have lived with mental illness and from their friends, who have supported them through recovery. Their words are powerful; their courage is inestimable. If you or somebody you know is coping with a mental health problem, take a look. You'll recognize fears, hopes, and dreams that you may be dealing with right now. Only by sharing can we come together as a community and send the outmoded stigmas...
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By: Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA)   |  8/2/2010   |   Content Types: Personal stories, Web site
"The personal accounts found here are true stories of real people and their experiences with mental illnesses. These people have confronted prejudice and discrimination, but with help and hope are in recovery or know someone who has experienced recovery. They have chosen to share their stories to inspire others and help people understand that mental illnesses are real, common, and treatable—and that recovery is possible. A severe lack of awareness and understanding often creates misconceptions a...
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By: Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration   |  8/2/2010   |   Content Types: Personal stories, Web site
Welcome to Stories That Heal, a Web site for people living with mental health problems—and their friends and family. You'll find real-life stories and resources to help in the recovery process. It's time for us to stand up and support our loved ones who struggle with mental health problems. Together, the healing will begin.
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By: The Leadership Council:Keystone Community Mental Health Services   |  8/3/2010   |   Content Types: Books, Personal stories, Web site
Recovery: In Our Own Words is a collection of personal stories of recovery and transformation, based on the Ten Fundamental Components of Recovery from the National Consensus Statement on Mental Health Recovery, and shared by Keystone Community Mental Health Services' Leadership Council and Recovery Specialists. These are powerful stories of strength and inspiration, giving readers a message of hope for the future. http://keystonehumanservices.org/kcmhs/kcmhs_recovery_in_our_own_words.php
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By: OMHSAS in coordination with Keystone Community Mental Health Services   |  8/3/2010   |   Content Types: Personal stories, Video, Web site
Embracing Community Integration Recovery is based on living a full life as part of the community of one's choice. Community integration builds on an individual's strengths and natural relationships while they live with the realities of mental illness. In this video, one of our Peer Support Recovery Specialists shares her story of recovery.(three minute video)
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By: Pam Arizona   |  9/18/2010   |   Content Type: Personal stories
Recovering from the abuse was easy. I dissociated. Having no choice in remembering - that was hard. I approached the diagnosis of DID intellectually. I read professional journals. I used my requirement of a senior thesis for my undergraduate degree in psychology for my own investigation. I discovered an up side to becoming co-conscious - to becoming aware of the others who shared my body/mind. I could sleep while someone else poured over the literature published by the gurus of the day: Putnam,...
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By: Ron Coleman   |  9/25/2010   |   Content Types: Clinical tools, Personal stories, Practice description, Program description, Training material, Video
Available from June 20th 2009, the first in our NEW "How to ..." series. There are now hundreds of hearing voices groups across the world, these peer support groups have proven to be a very successful way of supporting people who hear voices. Find out how you can set up and run a successful hearing voices group from members of hearing voices groups. The video includes the opportunity to see hearing voices group in actions; interviews with members and group faciliators. This step by step ...
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By: ron coleman   |  9/25/2010   |   Content Types: Personal stories, Training material, Video
In this DVD Ron explores the concept of recovery by contrasting recovery with the current maintenance dominated service systems that are in place within the mental health field. Ron argues that recovery should not be some add on extra of mental health service provision but a fundamental human right for every person who enters mental health services.
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By: ron Coleman & William Ellis   |  9/25/2010   |   Content Types: Personal stories, Practice description, Training material
Find out how to build a recovery environment within which people who use services can discover who they are and start the journey to reclaiming their lives This manual will give trainers the knowledge and tools to build a recovery environment within which people who use services can discover who they are and start the journey to reclaiming their lives. The underpinning value of this training is that we are all experts in our own experience. Trainees will be able to build relationships, unders...
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By: ron coleman   |  9/25/2010   |   Content Types: Personal stories, Training material, Video
In this DVD Ron tells his life story from his early years to the present day. Told in his own irreverent style Ron will take the viewer on a journey full of highs and lows and ending with great hope for the future. This DVD is a must for professionals, Carers and service users as it leaves those who see it inspired and believing that recovery is not something that should happen for the lucky few but something that is there for all to grasp. A bad career move is a happy, sad, funny, poignant stor...
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By: ron coleman   |  9/25/2010   |   Content Types: Books, Personal stories
An exploration of the concept of recovery by Ron Coleman, including how he gave up being a chronic schizophrenic and went back to being Ron. In ‘Recovery – An Alien Concept’ Ron attempts to reflect on the past and learn the lessons of history in the psychiatric system, by exploring recovery and encouraging professionals, clients and carers to begin their own personal journeys towards recovery. In these pages the reader may feel the pain of those for whom the present system has failed, feel t...
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By: Alison Reeves   |  9/25/2010   |   Content Types: Books, Personal stories
Alison Reeves life approach to reclaiming your life from times of madness, through a journey of self-discovery, and ultimately, finding some sense of ease with oneself in the world. For Reeves, focusing on the experience of growth as an individual has been her source of inspiration for recovery. Looking back in time and acknowledging that every thing that happens, happened for a reason, has helped Reeves become the person she is today; someone who values friendship, love and honesty, someone ...
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By: Ed. L.   |  10/27/2010   |   Content Type: Personal stories
I am sharing my story in the hopes that I will leave a lasting gift and that it will give hope of recovery to my brothers and sisters who come after me. Let me start from the beginning.
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By: Tammy Heinz   |  10/27/2010   |   Content Types: Article, Personal stories
When I was first diagnosed with a mental health disorder, I had mixed feelings. It was comforting to finally put a name on something I had experienced for years. Outwardly I was social and active in high school and college, but the self-loathing I experienced left me feeling very alone. I didn’t want to subject anyone else to the darkness I lived in, and yet I longed to connect with someone on a deeper level. I gradually felt less alone as I came to know other people who experienced feelings sim...
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By: Sue Anderson   |  2/23/2011   |   Content Types: Personal stories, Web site
I am Sue, the Mom of Grown Twin daughters & Granny of 2 amazing grandchildren. I recently remarried and am blessed to have a wonderful man in my life who I've nicknamed Sir Arthur, because he is to me everything that a Knight in Shining armor should be... Kind, Loyal, Loving, Caring, Noble, Genuine, and FUN! I love to sing, and encourage others. I can be downright silly at times… sometimes more often than not, and I love to meet new people. I love life, I believe each day is a gift, and am ...
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By: Psychology Today   |  7/15/2011   |   Content Types: Article, Personal stories, Practice description
Fear is a vital response to physical and emotional danger—if we couldn't feel it, we couldn't protect ourselves from legitimate threats. But often we fear situations that are in no way life-or-death, and thus hang back for no good reason. Traumas or bad experiences can trigger a fear response within us that is hard to quell… You may be wired to worry, but courage can be learned. This section of Psychology Today contains a wide variety of articles that focus on techniques for understanding and re...
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By: National Association of State Mental Health Program Directors   |  7/18/2011   |   Content Types: Personal stories, Research
NASMHPD created the National Executive Training Institute in 2002 to focus on the reduction of the use of seclusion and restraint, and one of the six core strategies identified as crucial to this work was the development of “Consumer Roles in Inpatient Settings.” One training module developed was devoted to understanding the rationale behind self-help, peer support, and to highlight the variety of consumer and family roles and responsibilities in inpatient settings that have proven to be effecti...
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By: Marty Wurtz   |  7/18/2011   |   Content Types: Books, Personal stories
As difficult as it will be to believe, this is a true story. After the struggles and hardships of a childhood straight from Hell, Marty worked hard throughout her life toward her hopes and dreams. She fought through tragedies, heartbreaks, and disappointments. In spite of it all, she had many triumphs. Full of ambition for what she wanted her life to be, Marty still had a very strong sense of responsibility to be there for her family as well as all of her in-laws. The families almost destroyed h...
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By: Steve Harrington   |  7/18/2011   |   Content Types: Books, Personal stories
Clinical depression is a terrible disease that affects millions in the U.S. Not only does it disrupt the lives of those who suffer the disease but their friends and families. This book, written by a mental health counselor and depression survivor, is packed with practical advice. This book focuses on hope and recovery and is a valuable resource for anyone affected by depresion. The depression Handbook may save your life or the life of a loved one. Steve Harrington has written about suicide, supp...
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By: Steve Harrington   |  7/18/2011   |   Content Types: Books, Personal stories
Do you believe your life can be better than it is? Trees of Hope is about making changes for a better life. It is an insightful look at human character by an author who has experienced considerable hardships in his life. Most importantly, he has turned those challenges into opportunities. In Trees of Hope, Steve Harrington shares with readers strategies for success. He shares ways people can lead happy, healthy lives. The messages are serious but told in a humorous, entertaining manner.
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By: SAMSHA   |  7/19/2011   |   Content Types: Personal stories, Web site
This website includes stories of recovery from the African‐American Community. It is a website for people living with mental health problems—and their friends and family. You'll find real-life stories and resources to help in the recovery process. It's time for us to stand up and support our loved ones who struggle with mental health problems. Together, the healing will begin.
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By: Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA)   |  7/19/2011   |   Content Types: Personal stories, Practice description, Web site
The personal accounts found here are true stories of real people and their experiences with mental health challenges or substance use problems. These people have confronted prejudice and discrimination, but with help and hope are in recovery or know someone who has experienced recovery. They have chosen to share their stories to inspire others and help people understand that these challenges and problems are real, common, and treatable—and that recovery is possible. A severe lack of awareness a...
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By: Depression and Bipolar Support Alliance   |  7/19/2011   |   Content Types: Personal stories, Web site
This website includes personal stories from people who have experienced depression or bipolar disorder, as well as stories from family members and friends of those affected by these conditions.
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By: Mental Health America   |  7/19/2011   |   Content Types: Personal stories, Web site
This one-of-a-kind project invites people who struggle with mental illnesses to break the silence and share their stories. We all know how empowering human connections are to those seeking wellness and recovery. By speaking out about your experiences, you help give a voice to the 57.7 million American adults—and as many as one in 10 children—who have a mental health disorder. Your story will help bust the stigma that keeps people from getting care and perpetuates misunderstanding about those ...
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By: National Empowerment Center   |  7/19/2011   |   Content Types: Personal stories, Web site
NEC receives many requests each week of people looking for information on recovery from mental illness. We believe one of the most helpful resources is to hear the stories of those who have an actual experience of recovery. For that reason we are excited to begin a new page on our website dedicated to the stories of some folks who have had an experience of severe emotional anguish some call “mental illness” and who have had the experience of recovery. Their words can tell you most authentically ...
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By: Alaska Mental Health Consumer Web   |  7/19/2011   |   Content Types: Personal stories, Web site
A website that contains personal stories of recovery from mental illness
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By: Mental Health Consumer/Survivor Network of Minnesota   |  7/19/2011   |   Content Types: Personal stories, Web site
A website containing personal stories from those who have recovered from anxiety disorders, mood disorders, and thought disorders.
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By: King County Mental Health, Chemical Abuse and Dependency Services Division   |  7/19/2011   |   Content Types: Personal stories, Web site
Recovery stories spark hope that can give people the courage to take their first steps on their recovery journey.
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By: Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA)   |  7/19/2011   |   Content Types: Personal stories, Web site
The stories of mental illness are as varied as we are. The following stories are from real people who have lived with mental illness and from their friends, who have supported them through recovery. Their words are powerful; their courage is inestimable. If you or somebody you know is coping with a mental health problem, take a look. You'll recognize fears, hopes, and dreams that you may be dealing with right now. Only by sharing can we come together as a community and send the outmoded stigmas...
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By: Universal Creative Convergence   |  7/19/2011   |   Content Types: Personal stories, Web site
It is our mission to create a greater awareness as to the causes and effects of trauma and instill hope that healing is possible. It is our hope to achieve our mission through this site and the promotion of recovery stories sent in book format to learning institutions, and libraries. It is also our vision to promote artwork of people healing from the effects of trauma in a way that assists them monetarily in their journey of recovery. In doing so it is our hope to assist in efforts to prevent tr...
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By: Georgette   |  7/20/2011   |   Content Type: Personal stories
This is the story of a woman who was able to recover from depression and go on to become a peer advocate for mental health recovery.
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By: Denise Noseworthy   |  7/20/2011   |   Content Type: Personal stories
This is the story of a woman who outlines her struggles with major depressive disorder, and then later found out she was diagnosed and is actual bipolar. She explains how she was able to overcome the struggles of her illness (which included suicide idealization) and become a Peer Advocate.
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By: Jude   |  7/20/2011   |   Content Type: Personal stories
This is a story of a man who has suffered from OCD and depression for many years, and how he was able to recover
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By: Recovery Resources & Support (RRS)   |  7/20/2011   |   Content Types: Personal stories, Web site
Our vision is to be an organization with recovery resources and support for individuals, groups and organizations. We believe all individuals can recover from mental and emotional challenges and substance dependencies. Our mission is to increase the availability of resources and support to individuals, groups and organizations. This website also includes personal stories of recovery.
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By: Julie D.   |  7/20/2011   |   Content Types: Personal stories, Web site
This is my story of recovery from alcoholism. Because of God’s grace and because the Twelve Steps and support groups like Alcoholics Anonymous and Celebrate Recovery work, I had my last drink of alcohol on September 10, 1995. Recovery from alcoholism is absolutely possible for anyone who is willing to be honest with themselves and open-minded enough to accept a whole new way of living. Somewhere in my journey toward recovery, I mustered up enough honesty, open-mindedness and willingness to...
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By: James Johnson   |  9/28/2011   |   Content Type: Personal stories
Personal Story
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By: Ton Kelly   |  12/1/2011   |   Content Type: Personal stories
I believe that I had many of the same advantages as others growing up. From a very young age, thanks to my mother and father we had everything that was necessary for a decent life! We always had a roof over our head (except for a two week period while we were camping and in between moves), food on the table and someone to take care of our needs. Around five years of age I began showing signs of having a mental illness.
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By: Jose Flores   |  9/5/2012   |   Content Type: Personal stories
My story is one of recovery from childhood. Born in poverty in Texas—very far south, near the Mexican border—I was the first of my mom’s six children between her two marriages. My father also remarried and had four other children. Life was difficult. I started hearing voices at age 4 or 5. My recovery started in the 1980s after I was hurt on the job. They diagnosed me with an abnormal brain wave, and later with schizophrenia.
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By: Melissa Farrell   |  9/5/2012   |   Content Type: Personal stories
I myself was first hospitalized and put on medication when I was 18, in 1997. I struggled to graduate from college and have a normal life. I would say that the latest area of recovery for me took place in 2007. That was when I started working full time for Baltic Street AEH, Inc. I began as an administrative assistant and have worked as a peer advocate since July 2009. I really feel happy here. I feel I can relate to others and be myself. The work I do gives me meaning and purpose. I try to pass...
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By: Anonymous   |  9/5/2012   |   Content Type: Personal stories
So this is the story of how I got here, from the violence to sadness and silence to fear. And then how it shifted and finally changed, how life got re‐centered and then re‐arranged.
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By: Donna   |  9/5/2012   |   Content Type: Personal stories
I am a 54‐year‐old woman living in the Pacific Northwest. I began experiencing symptoms of bipolar disorder as a young child. While still in kindergarten, I began attempting to harm myself. In my teens, I began to drink heavily to self‐medicate. Before being diagnosed at age 34, my life felt like a major roller coaster. Even after my initial diagnosis, I continued to have major symptoms for several years. I was told my life as I knew it was over, and I could no longer have my dreams and goals. I...
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By: Jason Zimmerman   |  9/5/2012   |   Content Type: Personal stories
My name is Jason Abijah Zimmerman, but most folks just call me “Jay.” I am a certified peer support counselor/technician for the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs (VA), located in Mountain Home, Tenn. I was born and raised in this area of Appalachia. After finishing college and losing my grandmother, I first began to feel depressed at the age of 21. I decided that the best way to handle these feelings and emotions was to run from them and hide them as best I could. So it was at that time I fo...
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By: Jennifer DeLeon   |  9/5/2012   |   Content Type: Personal stories
I do not believe it is possible to fully recover from mental illness. I do think that one can halt its progression, and I do believe that one can unlearn the associated learned behaviors. I believe that one can manage the illness to significantly improve functionality. Through this definition, I have recovered from bipolar disorder.
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By: Sue Brammer,Ph.D., RN   |  9/5/2012   |   Content Type: Personal stories
When I was thinking about recovery and how it has impacted my nursing practice, I came across a definition attributed to William Anthony (1993) from the Boston Center for Psychiatric Rehabilitation. There is a line in that definition that really spoke to me: “It [recovery] is a way of living a satisfying, hopeful, and contributing life even with limitations caused by the illness.” Now in my 50s, I have been battling mental illness all of my adult life. There have been many limitations posed by...
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By: Karen Taylor   |  9/5/2012   |   Content Types: Personal stories, Practice description
Can you hear voices and be healthy? Can people who hear overwhelming and distressing voices be helped to find ways to live successfully with their voices? Over the past 20 years, research and practice originating in Europe and developed in partnership with voice hearers indicate that this is indeed the case. This empowering approach to assisting people—both adults and children—who hear voices and are distressed by them starts from the premise that voices are related to real feelings and emotio...
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By: Ron Coleman and Karen Taylor   |  9/5/2012   |   Content Types: Article, Personal stories, Practice description, Training material
Working to Recovery (WTR) was established in 2002 by Ron Coleman and Karen Taylor. Based in Scotland, WTR offers training and consultancy around the world to many different kinds of agencies and organizations specializing in mental health practice. In this article, Ron and Karen describe their approach to recovery, the work they do, and what motivates them. We met at a community psychiatric nursing conference in 1998, fell in love, and have been together ever since. We might be regarded by some...
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By: Drew Horn   |  9/5/2012   |   Content Types: Personal stories, Practice description, Program description
The Turn-A-Frown Around Foundation (TAFA) is an organization whose sole mission is to end loneliness. We have been around for 10 years. I humbly share that we’ve won nine awards, including the Governor's Ambassador Award for the State of New Jersey, the National Council for Community Behavioral Healthcare award for Excellence in Family Advocacy, three awards from the National Alliance on Mental Illness, and recently, Eli Lilly’s National Award for Number One Achievement of a Consumer.
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By: Jacquese Armstrong   |  9/5/2012   |   Content Type: Personal stories
Life is tough, even without a mental illness. In my opinion, everyone is recovering and on the road to what we call wellness. We all have our own definition of wellness and it may change from time to time. As a person with a mental illness, I am no different. From childhood through the beginning of young adulthood, wellness hinged upon my level of maturity, whether physical or philosophical. Unfortunately, this process was interrupted by a mental illness called schizoaffective disorder.
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By: Bruce Van Dusen   |  9/5/2012   |   Content Type: Personal stories
I had every advantage. I came from a home where everything was provided. I was on track to achieving a successful career and life. Then something happened. I became mentally ill. At age 10, I was getting good grades in school and developing socially. I had my own newspaper delivery business and earned money shining shoes. In the summer, I mowed grass; in winter, I was paid to shovel snow. I was on the rise. But something else happened that year. I started having the ability to read people's m...
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By: Tom Kelly   |  9/5/2012   |   Content Type: Personal stories
Growing up, I enjoyed many of the same advantages as others. From a very young age—thanks to my mother and father—I had everything necessary for a decent life. I always had a roof over my head, food on the table, and someone to take care of my needs. But when I was about 5 years old, I began showing signs of mental illness. In kindergarten I had trouble communicating with others—partly because of my language development skills and partly because I was somewhat introverted. I remember encounter...
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By: Keith Jamison   |  9/5/2012   |   Content Type: Personal stories
My name is Keith Jamison and I am a registered nurse. I have 20 years of experience in health care, which began in Home Health and transitioned to psychiatric nursing for several years. Currently, I work as a nurse educator at the Julian F. Keith Alcohol and Drug Abuse Treatment Center in Black Mountain, North Carolina. Outside of work, I have been involved in youth ministry for about 30 years, and serve as a youth pastor at Living Waters Tabernacle.
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By: Gerald Butler   |  9/5/2012   |   Content Types: Personal stories, Program description
I started drinking at the age of 11 because it was the only way to quiet the voices I'd been hearing all my life. It was the 60s and little was known about chemical imbalances and mental illness. By age 14 I was an alcoholic and spent the next 33 years hopeless and homeless, dealing with two diseases, alcoholism, and mental illness. In early recovery I realized I lacked a basic sense of self-esteem, so I picked up the flute I used to play before getting really sick. I was amazed how the music no...
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By: Ziv   |  9/13/2012   |   Content Type: Personal stories
I remember many things from my dark era, some more vividly than others. One of them, which I refer to as "the chill," makes me shiver even today, 7 long years after I last felt it. The reminder keeps me at arm's length from revisiting a place that is unlike any other. This somewhat grim opening to my recovery story is a poetic license of sorts, and it's meant to emphasize the difference between my life then and the life I've created for myself today.
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By: Jackie West   |  9/13/2012   |   Content Types: Clinical tools, Outcome tools, Personal stories, Program description
After 8 years in the substance abuse treatment field, I transitioned into community mental health. My exposure to mental health treatment while I was in college had been in a "white State hospital just beyond the borders of town" kind of place. Frontal lobotomies, electroshock therapy, and institutional care were what I considered the norm for mental health treatment.
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By: Lori Ashcraft, Ph.D.   |  9/13/2012   |   Content Type: Personal stories
It never occurred to me a soldier’s addiction and posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD) would play a big part in my life. These were things that happened to old men who lived alone and got checks from the Government once a month. I was in for a big, disappointing surprise.
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By: Kevin Coyle   |  9/13/2012   |   Content Types: Clinical tools, Outcome tools, Personal stories
Ten years ago, back when I was 18, I planned to go to college and live a normal life as a deaf man. But the following year, I was diagnosed with schizoaffective disorder. The psychotic world in my mind that seemed so real at times threatened to imprison me in a realm of delusions. My passion for words kept me motivated in class, but once I graduated from college I sank into a pit of despair. I wrote and slept, but struggled to produce anything. It was my boyhood dream to be a writer, but a write...
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By: Bill Rogers   |  9/13/2012   |   Content Types: Clinical tools, Outcome tools, Personal stories, Program description
My story seems to have many beginnings and an ending I continue to search for. Based on my experience at Johns Hopkins Mood Disorders Center, I believe the use of occupational therapy (OT) methods to treat mental health disorders is extremely valuable. I think these methods are even more valuable for decreasing the likelihood of relapse. At the same time, for folks like me who suffer from mental illness, I feel there is disparity between the need for OT and what is currently being delivered.
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By: Jose Flores   |  9/13/2012   |   Content Type: Personal stories
My name is José Flores. I presently am employed by Mental Health America in Huntington Park, Calif., under the nonprofit agency Project Return Peer Support Network. My story is one of recovery from childhood.
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By: Melissa Farrell   |  9/13/2012   |   Content Type: Personal stories
I just read an article on recovery about a man who lived in his room, isolating himself for 20 years. I found it both very touching and very sad. The article made me really have a lot of empathy for this man. And it got me thinking about my clients and how many barriers there are to getting them into the office and to helping them with their benefits and whatever else they may need to survive.
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By: Sabrina Cito   |  9/14/2012   |   Content Types: Article, Personal stories
Having used a recovery approach to practice in my work for approximately 6 years, I am amazed by how this has enhanced my interactions with individuals, as well as my overall experience as a mental health nurse. Recovery is all about individuals and changing how we see people. Critical to a recovery approach is having hope for the future and the belief that each person can recover, and maintaining this hope and holding onto it—even when the individual, and others working with the person, are una...
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By: Miriam Tepper   |  9/14/2012   |   Content Types: Article, Clinical tools, Personal stories
My involvement in recovery-oriented practices was a lucky break. I had the good fortune to spend some time during residency at a flexible, innovative rehabilitation program, where I now work part-time as the Associate Director. After spending so much time in training on inpatient psychiatry units and crisis-filled emergency rooms, it was simply incredible to sit with individuals with serious mental illness and talk about what their dreams are, what has gotten in their way, how a job has helped t...
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By: Alysa Solomon,   |  9/14/2012   |   Content Types: Article, Personal stories
As a mental health provider and fan of the Los Angeles Lakers, I was intrigued when I heard Lakers star forward Ron Artest, following his team’s triumph in last year’s NBA
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By: Steve Harrington J.D.   |  9/17/2012   |   Content Types: Article, Outcome tools, Personal stories
Two bits of information recently came to me that, taken together, caused me to formulate the following, inescapable conclusion: persons with a mental illness, particularly those with schizophrenia, are destined to lead the world.
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By: Mark Ragins M.D.   |  9/18/2012   |   Content Types: Article, Outcome tools, Personal stories
Many people are dissatisfied with our current mental health system, and yet, true change is rare. The combined forces of inertia, politics, reimbursement procedures, bureaucracy, liability fears, and hopelessness often seem too formidable to overcome. They can, however, be vanquished if we work under a banner of clearly articulated vision and values. Deinstitutionalization proved that. I believe that banner now should be passed on to recovery.
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By: Glenn Kamber M.A., M.S.   |  9/18/2012   |   Content Types: Article, Clinical tools, Personal stories, Practice description
I am a trained marriage and family therapist, and it seems to me recovery principles of consumer-driven service and consumer-defined success are at the very core of what my profession teaches and strives to achieve among those who seek our assistance. First and foremost, the goal of marriage and family therapy is to help people solve problems or issues identified by them. The process of marriage and family counseling, when done well, helps people to clarify issues, needs, and ways to move forwa...
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By: John M. Oldham M.D., M.S.   |  9/18/2012   |   Content Types: Article, Personal stories
A few years ago, when I was in South Carolina, I was amazed to get an email from "Mr. R.," a man I had provided care to when I was a resident at Columbia University. He said I probably didn't remember him, but that he had often wanted to contact me during the almost 35 years since we last saw each other. He wanted to tell me he had done okay in life, which he thought would surprise me. Mr. R. remembered me as arrogant, pessimistic about his future, and not very helpful. I was stunned, since he w...
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By: William Stride   |  9/18/2012   |   Content Types: Outcome tools, Personal stories
*Based on a letter written to attendees of Peer Education Training Day at Vinfen Corporation in Boston, Mass., March 2007 Dear Peer Educators: Our meeting today has been uplifting and inspiring. There has been much love, laughter, and even tears of joy. We have come together to celebrate success in helping ourselves and others. We have reaffirmed our commitment to those who need help and guidance.
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By: Terrence Smithers   |  9/18/2012   |   Content Types: Outcome tools, Personal stories
"As a boy, I always wanted to help people. When my journey took me other places and eventually repeated incarceration, I knew my dream was gone forever. Bringing me this program has given me the hope and possibility that I can be that man I always wanted to be. Thank you for returning me to me." —Anonymous This was one of the many moving and uplifting statements from Peer Employment Training (PET) graduates at a state correctional institution. In my eyes, the graduation was as beautiful and mea...
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By: Andy Bernstein, Ph.D., CPRP   |  9/18/2012   |   Content Types: Article, Clinical tools, Outcome tools, Personal stories, Practice description
Before describing how the recovery paradigm manifests in my practice as a clinician, I would like to say a few words about how I came to this place. Although it was not a typical psychologist's career path, my professional journey has taught me lessons on recovery that can and should be learned in other ways.
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By: Howard Josepher, LCSW   |  9/18/2012   |   Content Types: Article, Outcome tools, Personal stories, Research
In one form or another, I have been a recovery advocate for more than 40 years. My journey began in 1968, after treatment in a therapeutic community program helped me overcome a 7-year heroin addiction. Treatment as we know it today did not exist, and the commonly held belief was "once an addict, always an addict."
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By: Rita Cronise   |  9/18/2012   |   Content Types: Article, Clinical tools, Personal stories, Research
It was the summer of 2008 and I had just returned from Focus on Recovery United in Middletown, Connecticut, where I'd spent a whirlwind week with Shery Mead, Chris Hansen, and Heather McDonald learning to be a facilitator for Intentional Peer Support (IPS). I was eager to share what I had learned when I got back home to Rochester, New York.
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By: Christine Dowling   |  10/10/2012   |   Content Types: Clinical tools, Curricula, Personal stories, Practice description, Program description, Training material
In response to the tragedy that occurred on January 8, 2011, when 19 people were shot during a public meeting in Casas Adobes, Arizona agencies and organizations* banded together to promote Statewide Mental Health First Aid (MHFA) training.
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By: M. C. Violet Taylor   |  10/11/2012   |   Content Types: Article, Clinical tools, Personal stories, Program description, Research
Reciprocal Supervision is a term I coined to describe the egalitarian relationship I have with my supervisor. She is the Assistant Chief Nursing Executive in a locked mental health institute and I am a Regional Peer Bridger—the consumer on staff. We work in an acute care setting, where the spectrum of mental health issues, cultures, languages, abilities, and lifestyles is as varied among consumers as it is among coworkers. Our State has not been as progressive as it has been diverse. Peer Suppor...
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By: Charles Weinberg   |  10/15/2012   |   Content Types: Article, Personal stories, Practice description
How do we feel about use of the term "mental illness"? The phrase is prevalent in mental health and may continue to be broadly used for quite some time. To the extent that its use destigmatizes (because it can mean "I am not crazy" and "I am not bad"), it is a good thing. To the extent that it validates the uniqueness of someone's experience and helps providers be empathetic, it is a good thing. To the extent that it helps find statistically valid and empirically confirmed biochemical or genetic...
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By: Celinda Jungheim   |  10/17/2012   |   Content Types: Outcome tools, Personal stories
I cherish my mental health and I worked hard to get it. More than 40 years ago, I didn't even want to live. Of course I couldn't imagine a happy life. But today my life is full and meaningful. How I got to this point has become my life story. As I look back, I know I suffered from depression as a child. There were days when I stayed in my room for hours, brooding and thinking dark, hateful thoughts. I was angry at the world and hated myself. But nice people don't show that kind of anger, so I ...
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By: Jill Shepherd   |  10/17/2012   |   Content Types: Personal stories, Program description
As a Peer Support Specialist II for the Fresno County Department of Behavioral Health, I work with consumers all day long. My main responsibility is to schedule assessments for clinicians within our department. I am also responsible for two consumer groups. One is a rehabilitation group that I co-facilitate. The other is a support group that emphasizes wellness and recovery, and I am the main facilitator. Each week, 11 to 12 people participate in the support group. As the sessions move forward, ...
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By: Recovery Radio Network   |  10/31/2012   |   Content Types: Article, Books, Personal stories, Research, Video, Web site
The Recovery Radio Network is a collection of Internet based radio stations providing recovery speakers, Twelve-Step workshops and, important insights from the medical profession "on demand" in a streaming media format. We are a non-profit corporation formed in 2004 with the mission of providing Internet based streaming audio content to the community of people recovering from Alcoholism, Co-dependency and Substance abuse. We also provide an additional resource for those professionals working in...
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By: Dale Walsh   |  11/27/2012   |   Content Types: Article, Personal stories
Ihave worked in the field of mental health for about 20 years. I can talk about this part of my life easily. I have also been a survivor of a long-term psychiatric disability for most of my childhood and adult life, and I am a survivor of the mental health system, both public and private. This is the harder part of my life to talk about. I have walked on both sides of the fence, so to speak
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By: Hazelden   |  11/29/2012   |   Content Types: Books, Personal stories, Program description
This compelling book The Dual Disorders Recovery Book, written for those of us with an addiction and a psychiatric illness, provides a source of information and support throughout our recovery. Personal stories offer experience, strength, and hope as well as expert advice. The book offers information on how Steps 1-5 apply specifically to us. An appendix includes a "Blueprint for Recovery," the meeting format of Dual Recovery Anonymous, and self-help resources.
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By: Keystone Human Services   |  11/29/2012   |   Content Types: Personal stories, Web site
Recovery: In Our Own Words is a collection of personal stories of recovery and transformation, based on the Ten Fundamental Components of Recovery from the National Consensus Statement on Mental Health Recovery, and shared by Keystone Community Mental Health Services' Leadership Council and Recovery Specialists. These are powerful stories of strength and inspiration, giving readers a message of hope for the future.
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By: Davidson L, Hoge MA, Merrill ME, Rakfeldt J, Griffith EE.   |  12/4/2012   |   Content Types: Article, Personal stories
The experiences of long-stay inpatients returning to the community.
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By: Robin M. Gilmartin   |  12/5/2012   |   Content Types: Article, Personal stories
This study explores ways in which high-functioning former patients integrate the experience of prior psychiatric hospitalization into their lives and find meaning from that event. The narratives underscore that the process of integrating and making meaning of important life events such as psychiatric hospitalization occur within a social context.
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By: Norman Cousins   |  12/5/2012   |   Content Types: Books, Personal stories
Anatomy of an Illness was the first book by a patient that spoke to our current interest in taking charge of our own health. It started the revolution in patients working with their doctors and using humor to boost their bodies' capacity for healing. When Norman Cousins was diagnosed with a crippling and irreversible disease, he forged an unusual collaboration with his physician, and together they were able to beat the odds. The doctor's genius was in helping his patient to use his own powers: l...
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By: Judi Chamberlin   |  12/6/2012   |   Content Types: Books, Personal stories
On Our Own is Judi's story as a patient in both public and private hospitals. The story explores her experiences while being a patient as well as the lessons she learned while using services controlled by the patients themselves. It makes a compelling case for patient controlled services; a real alternative to the institutions that destroy the confident independence of so many. This is a work of great hope and optimism.
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By: Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA)   |  12/6/2012   |   Content Types: Personal stories, Web site
The stories of mental illness are as varied as we are. The following stories are from real people who have lived with mental illness and from their friends who have supported them through recovery. Their words are powerful; their courage is inestimable. If you or somebody you know is coping with a mental health problem, take a look. You'll recognize fears, hopes, and dreams that you may be dealing with right now. Only by sharing can we come together as a community and send the outmoded stigmas p...
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By: Marie Balter, Richard Katz   |  12/11/2012   |   Content Types: Books, Personal stories
Marie Balter’s courageous story of hope and healing has inspired millions around the country. After spending the first twenty years of her adult life in a mental hospital, she gradually emerged from the terror of the back wards, eventually to attend graduate school at Harvard University and become a leading champion for the mentally ill.
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By: . The Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Admin., The Michigan Dept. of Community Health, Network180   |  12/11/2012   |   Content Types: Outcome tools, Personal stories, Video
Open Spaces has won local and national awards for its honest and moving portrayal of persons in recovery from psychiatric disorders. This documentary is vital for anyone who questions the existence or power of recovery
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By: Robert Gary Neugeboren   |  12/11/2012   |   Content Types: Books, Personal stories
It was 1962 and Robert Neugeboren, just shy of his nineteenth birthday, experienced the first of what would be many psychiatric hospitalizations. For the first six months of this first hospitalization, Robert kept a diary of his daily life at Hillside Hospital. The Hillside Diary and Other Writings includes this diary, and selected letters and poems written by Robert over a period of many years and many hospitalizations. Compiled and edited by Jay Neugeboren, Robert’s brother and life-long advo...
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By: Keystone Human Services   |  12/11/2012   |   Content Types: Personal stories, Web site
Recovery: In Our Own Words is a collection of personal stories of recovery and transformation, based on the Ten Fundamental Components of Recovery from the National Consensus Statement on Mental Health Recovery, and shared by Keystone Community Mental Health Services' Leadership Council and Recovery Specialists. These are powerful stories of strength and inspiration, giving readers a message of hope for the future.
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By: Patricia E Deegan, Ph.D.   |  12/11/2012   |   Content Types: Article, Personal stories
This paper describes a first person account of recovering from schizophrenia. Recovery is described as a transformative process as opposed to merely achieving stabilization or returning to baseline. The self-directed nature of the recovery process is highlighted with suggestions as to how professionals can support recovery.
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By: Ed L   |  12/12/2012   |   Content Type: Personal stories
I am sharing my story in the hopes that I will leave a lasting gift and that it will give hope of recovery to my brothers and sisters who come after me. Let me start from the beginning. When I was about four years old, I became aware of feelings that I didn?t belong in my surroundings. It was at age seven, when I picked up my first drink, did I feel accepted. It was absolutely wonderful! It quieted my fears, my inferiority complex, and my wandering thoughts and helped me to think of myself as ?S...
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By: Tammy Heinz   |  12/12/2012   |   Content Types: Article, Personal stories
When I was first diagnosed with a mental health disorder, I had mixed feelings. It was comforting to finally put a name on something I had experienced for years. Outwardly I was social and active in high school and college, but the self-loathing I experienced left me feeling very alone. I didn’t want to subject anyone else to the darkness I lived in, and yet I longed to connect with someone on a deeper level. I gradually felt less alone as I came to know other people who experienced feelings sim...
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By: Elizabeth Lesser   |  12/12/2012   |   Content Types: Books, Personal stories
In the more than twenty-five years since she co-founded Omega Institute - now the world's largest center for spiritual retreat and personal growth -Elizabeth Lesser has been an intimate witness to the ways in which people weather change and transition. In a beautifully crafted blend of moving stories, humorous insights, practical guidance, and personal memoir, she offers tools to help us make the choice we all face in times of challenge: Will we be broken down and defeated, or broken open and tr...
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By: Marty Wurtz   |  12/13/2012   |   Content Types: Books, Personal stories
As difficult as it will be to believe, this is a true story. After the struggles and hardships of a childhood straight from Hell, Marty worked hard throughout her life toward her hopes and dreams. She fought through tragedies, heartbreaks, and disappointments. In spite of it all, she had many triumphs. Full of ambition for what she wanted her life to be, Marty still had a very strong sense of responsibility to be there for her family as well as all of her in-laws.
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By: Cary Barbor   |  12/13/2012   |   Content Types: Article, Personal stories
In the highlands of the Qinghai-Tibet Plateau, people look at life differently. Upon entering the local Buddhist monastery, there is a spectacular sculpture the size of a large oak. The intricate carving of clouds and patterns are painted in powerful colors. But as soon as winter gives way, this magnificent work will melt to nothing. The sculpture, in fact, is made of butter, and it is one of the highland people's symbols of the transient nature of life.
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By: Karen Taylor   |  12/14/2012   |   Content Types: Article, Outcome tools, Personal stories
Can you hear voices and be healthy? Can people who hear overwhelming and distressing voices be helped to find ways to live successfully with their voices? Over the past 20 years, research and practice originating in Europe and developed in partnership with voice hearers indicate that this is indeed the case. This empowering approach to assisting people—both adults and children—who hear voices and are distressed by them starts from the premise that voices are related to real feelings and emotio...
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By: Marcia Lovejoy   |  12/14/2012   |   Content Types: Article, Clinical tools, Personal stories, Research
Personal experience is used to illustrate the effects of expectations on a patient's self-esteem and hope. The author, who was diagnosed as having chronic schizophrenia, points to the self-fulfilling nature of expecting a poor outcome. Project Overcome is one attempt to provide patients, families, mental health professionals, and the general public with models of successful patients. Former patients are available to lecture about their past experiences, thereby demonstrating through their action...
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By: SAMHSA's ADS Center   |  12/17/2012   |   Content Types: Personal stories, Web site
The personal accounts found here are true stories of real people and their experiences with mental health challenges or substance use problems. These people have confronted prejudice and discrimination, but with help and hope are in recovery or know someone who has experienced recovery. They have chosen to share their stories to inspire others and help people understand that these challenges and problems are real, common, and treatable—and that recovery is possible.
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By: Reneé Kopache   |  12/18/2012   |   Content Types: Article, Personal stories
The Ohio Department of Mental Health defines recovery as “the process of overcoming the negative impact of a psychiatric disability despite its continued presence.” To me, the definition implies that there are positive impacts of a psychiatric disability. Otherwise, wouldn’t the definition have been “overcoming the impact of a psychiatric disability?” As such, I found myself asking, are there positive impacts? After giving it some thought, I’ve concluded that there can in fact be positi...
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By: Shery Mead MSW, Mary Ellen Copeland MS, MA   |  12/18/2012   |   Content Types: Article, Personal stories
Recovery has only recently become a word used in relation to the experience of psychiatric symptoms. Those of us who experience psychiatric symptoms are commonly told that these symptoms are incurable, that we will have to live with them for the rest of our lives, that the medications, if they (health care professionals) can find the right ones or the right combination, may help, and that we will always have to take the medications. Many of us have even been told that these symptoms will ...
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By: Mark Ragins   |  12/20/2012   |   Content Types: Article, Personal stories
We began the Village with high hopes for our work with families. They had been strong advocates for the creation of the Village. We included them in our advisory board. They were included in our outcome study. We held several “open house” nights for families emphasizing Social Security and employment. I began doing family psychoeducation classes on medications and mental illnesses. But our programming never grew much beyond that.
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By: Mark Ragins   |  12/20/2012   |   Content Types: Article, Personal stories
I was taught in medical school that the foundation of a good treatment is a good diagnosis. I no longer agree. I now think that the foundation of good treatment is a good relationship. If I have a perfect diagnosis, but no relationship, the treatment will go nowhere. If, on the other hand, I have the wrong diagnosis, but a good relationship, I’ll eventually figure it out. The person may even help me correct my diagnosis after a while, if they trust me, by telling me about the speed they shoot up...
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By: Shery Mead, MSW, Mary Ellen Copeland, MS, MA   |  12/20/2012   |   Content Type: Personal stories
Recovery has only recently become a word used in relation to the experience of psychiatric symptoms. Those of us who experience psychiatric symptoms are commonly told that these symptoms are incurable, that we will have to live with them for the rest of our lives, that the medications, if they (health care professionals) can find the right ones or the right combination, may help, and that we will always have to take the medications. Many of us have even been told that these symptoms will ...
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By: Mental Health America   |  12/27/2012   |   Content Types: Personal stories, Program description, Web site
This one-of-a-kind project invites people who struggle with mental illnesses to break the silence and share their stories. We all know how empowering human connections are to those seeking wellness and recovery. By speaking out about your experiences, you help give a voice to the 57.7 million American adults—and as many as one in 10 children—who have a mental health disorder.
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By: Renee Kopache   |  12/28/2012   |   Content Type: Personal stories
The Ohio Department of Mental Health defines recovery as “the process of overcoming the negative impact of a psychiatric disability despite its continued presence.” To me, the definition implies that there are positive impacts of a psychiatric disability. Otherwise, wouldn’t the definition have been “overcoming the impact of a psychiatric disability?” As such, I found myself asking, are there positive impacts? After giving it some thought, I’ve concluded that there can in fact be positi...
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By: Athena Support   |  12/29/2012   |   Content Type: Personal stories
Because of many sources of support, including Dr. Robert Landeen (a psychiatrist) and EMDR, friends, family, and support programs, I am in recovery from both substance abuse and mental illness. Even more than that, my life is full and rich and blessed with productive, meaningful activities, as well as sublime moments of rest and relaxation. I feel connected to my neighborhood, my local community, my friends, and my family. I’ve learned to take good care of myself, to craft my days such that my n...
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By: Christine Miserandino   |  12/31/2012   |   Content Types: Article, Personal stories
Please take the time to read Christine Miserandino’s personal story and analogy of what it is like to live with sickness or disability.
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By: Patricia Deegan   |  1/3/2013   |   Content Types: Personal stories, Research
I would like to thank you for this opportunity to speak with you today. I am especially pleased to be speaking to so many faculty and field supervisors. Your task is very important. You are teaching students who will become tomorrow’s mental health professionals. The message I would like to bring to you today is that it is not enough to merely teach them facts and figures and knowledge. We must also help students to seek wisdom.
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By: Renee Kopache   |  1/3/2013   |   Content Types: Article, Personal stories, Web site
During the past year I’ve spoken to mental health professionals at various functions about recovery from mental illness and my personal recovery experiences. The opportunity to speak about my mental illness and my recovery from it has been tremendously healing and has further enhanced my recovery. Likewise, provider feedback has indicated that, by sharing their experiences, consumers have helped mental health professionals gain a better understanding of mental health recovery.
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By: Andrea Schmook   |  1/3/2013   |   Content Type: Personal stories
They said I would never get better. I would always be mentally ill. They said I would be in and out of mental hospitals the rest of my life. I could never be the person I was before my mental illness. I made up my mind in the mental hospital that I would prove them wrong. I would get better and help others know they could too.
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By: National Empowerment Center   |  1/4/2013   |   Content Types: Personal stories, Web site
NEC receives many requests each week of people looking for information on recovery from mental illness. We believe one of the most helpful resources is to hear the stories of those who have an actual experience of recovery. For that reason we are excited to begin a new page on our website dedicated to the stories of some folks who have had an experience of severe emotional anguish some call “mental illness” and who have had the experience of recovery. Their words can tell you most authentically ...
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By: Mental Health Consumer/Survivor Network of Minnesota   |  1/4/2013   |   Content Types: Personal stories, Web site
After more than 20 years of not going to a grocery store, restaurant, or public place alone, not driving out of my safe area and not attending school functions for my children, I began my difficult recovery from panic disorder, agoraphobia, and social anxiety disorder.
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By: The Yale Program for Recovery and Community Health   |  5/21/2013   |   Content Types: Article, Personal stories
The Yale Program for Recovery and Community Health has launched an online literary magazine featuring pieces by authors from near and far, including Yale faculty and staff, New Haven area residents, and interested writers from around the U.S. and abroad. Our goal is to publish an inaugural, pilot issue of the magazine in early 2013 with the hope of continuing publication biannually. Published pieces will ideally complement our program’s core focus on issues of health in the community and persona...
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By: Reneé Kopache   |  6/12/2013   |   Content Type: Personal stories
Overcoming the Negative Impact of a Psychiatric Disability
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By: Lucious Conway   |  7/2/2013   |   Content Types: Personal stories, Web site
“My name is Lucious and I'm a recovering Alcoholic and crack cocaine addict. Like many recovering alcoholics and addicts, I too have horror stories of drinking and doing things which I am not proud of and would never have done in a sober state of mind. I too have spent time in correctional facilities as a result of my drinking. Fortunately, I met a doctor whose compassion and conviction persuaded me to go to in-patient rehab here in New York. After reading the materials, going to meetings and wo...
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By: Unspecified   |  9/4/2013   |   Content Types: Article, Clinical tools, Outcome tools, Personal stories, Research, This is the other

By: Mark Ragins   |  10/25/2013   |   Content Types: Article, Outcome tools, Personal stories, Practice description, Program description
(How dare I include in the title the politically incorrect “chronic illnesses”? Because this paper is not designed to reach out to politically correct recovery champions and consumer advocates. I’ve written plenty of other stuff for you. This paper is designed to engage our professional staff who, like me, were trained, in long, expensive, professional programs that taught us to help people by treating their illnesses. We’re the people you turn to in an emergency, who shoulder the legal and ...
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By: Mary Ellen Copeland   |  10/25/2013   |   Content Types: Article, Outcome tools, Personal stories
Recovery has only recently become a word used in relation to the experience of psychiatric symptoms. Those of us who experience psychiatric symptoms are commonly told that these symptoms are incurable, that we will have to live with them for the rest of our lives, that the medications, if they (health care professionals) can find the right ones or the right combination, may help, and that we will always have to take the medications. Many of us have even been told that these symptoms will worsen ...
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By: Mark Ragins   |  10/25/2013   |   Content Types: Article, Outcome tools, Personal stories, Practice description
Over the past several years, California has targeted millions of dollars to provide intensive, integrated mental health services, to people who are either homeless or being released from jail. As we’ve become heavily involved in their lives, and built close trusting relationships with them, we’ve been surprised by who they really are. Certainly, there are numerous people, with severe mental illnesses, who are on the streets and in jails but they are not who we thought they were.
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By: Steve Harrington   |  10/25/2013   |   Content Types: Article, Personal stories, Practice description
Two bits of information recently came to me that, taken together, caused me to formulate the following, inescapable conclusion: persons with a mental illness, particularly those with schizophrenia, are destined to lead the world.
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By: William TenHoor   |  10/25/2013   |   Content Types: Article, Clinical tools, Personal stories, Practice description, Research
“Be careful what you wish for” is an admonition many consumer organization leaders have heard before. It is often heard when your organization is facing a particularly difficult problem or crisis, such as a funding cut or the departure of a valued employee. Upon reflection, you realize your organization has come a long way. It has an excellent mission, a laudable set of goals, employs a good group of people, and has a reasonable operating budget. Yes, you got what you wanted. But given all the o...
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By: Mark Ragins   |  10/25/2013   |   Content Types: Article, Outcome tools, Personal stories, Practice description, Research
In 1999 and 2000 I visited twenty-three mental health programs in twelve different countries (New Zealand, Japan, Thailand, India, Jordan, Italy, Netherlands, Belgium, Greece, Egypt, Malaysia and China) in an effort to broaden my cross cultural exposure to psychiatric treatment and rehabilitation and provide insights for my own work. This was not a scientific collection of facts and data from these countries, but a series of thoughtful and sometimes emotional exchanges with international colleag...
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By: Deegan PE, Rapp C, Holter M, Riefer M.   |  10/25/2013   |   Content Types: Article, Outcome tools, Personal stories, Research
This column presents preliminary findings of an intervention to support shared decision making in psychopharmacology consultation. The waiting area in an urban psychiatric medication clinic was transformed into a peer-run Decision Support Center featuring a user-friendly, Internet-based software program with which clients could create a one-page computer-generated report for use in the medication consultation. The Decision Support Center was used 662 times by 189 unique users from a young-adult ...
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By: Judi Chamberlin   |  10/25/2013   |   Content Types: Article, Clinical tools, Personal stories, Research
"Empowerment" is a term that has become very popular in mental health services (at least in the United States). Nearly every kind of mental health program claims to "empower" its clients, yet in practice there have been few operational definitions of the term, and it is far from clear that programs that use the term are in any measurable way different from those that do not. Still lacking a definition, the word has become common political rhetoric, with a flexibility of meaning so broad that it ...
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By: Mark Ragins   |  11/11/2013   |   Content Types: Article, Curricula, Outcome tools, Personal stories, Practice description, Training material, Web site
Drug companies sell billions of dollars of pills using direct marketing to get consumers pressure and direct doctors. We should be able to use direct marketing to sell recovery too. After all, the recovery movement probably wouldn’t exist without the consumer movement. But what specifically should people pressure and direct their doctors, and other mental health professionals, to give them to promote their recoveries?
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By: Mark Ragins   |  11/11/2013   |   Content Types: Article, Personal stories, Research, Training material, Web site
Recently I received an e-mail from an administrator trying to promote recovery based transformation asking me to respond to one of the clinic psychiatrists. The psychiatrist’s e-mail said, “The link to the Empowerment Center should be removed from this site [the DMH Wellness and Client Run Centers site] as it states clearly on their website that most people with schizophrenia will be able to discontinue their medications and “recover”.
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By: The Recover Project   |  11/25/2013   |   Content Types: Clinical tools, Curricula, Personal stories, Practice description, Research, Training material, Webinar
Please find the links to the RECOVER Project From the Ground Up webinars. The first webinar, presented on November 12th, covers the initial stages of starting a peer recovery center. The second webinar goes deeper into the value of co-creating safe spaces and the Peer Participatory Process.
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By: Rethink Mental Illness   |  11/25/2013   |   Content Types: Article, Outcome tools, Personal stories, Practice description, Training material, Web site
100 Ways to Support Recovery is a free practical guide for mental health professionals to work in a recovery-oriented way. Since publication in 2009, the first edition has been downloaded more than 23,000 times. 100 Ways to Support Recovery has since been updated with references to new knowledge on how you can support someone with a mental illness. The second edition (2013) of this popular publication is available to download now - simply fill in the form below.
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By: Lucious Conway   |  11/25/2013   |   Content Types: Personal stories, Practice description, Training material, Web site
"Welcome home to help, hope and happiness! You don't ever have to feel or be alone again. Through the process of Holistic Wellness, Motivational Self-Help, Self-Directed Wellness-Driven Peer Mentoring Books, Video Seminars and LIVE! Individual SKYPE and Chat sessions,you will learn how to be become your own Recovery Coach! "
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By: Community Activators   |  11/25/2013   |   Content Types: Article, Clinical tools, Curricula, Outcome tools, Personal stories, Practice description, Program description, Research, Training material
The following articles and tools are samples of the variety of work produced by our staff. They may be freely reproduced and disseminated as long as the existing formatting and attribution are not altered.
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By: National Empowerment Center   |  11/25/2013   |   Content Types: Article, Clinical tools, Curricula, Outcome tools, Personal stories, Practice description, Program description, Research, Training material
Mission: To carry a message of recovery, empowerment, hope and healing to people with lived experience with mental health issues, trauma, and extreme states.
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By: Mark Ragins   |  11/25/2013   |   Content Types: Article, Outcome tools, Personal stories, Practice description, Research
This next paper was written a decade later for a presentation to the California State System of Care Committee urging a harder look at cultural change. Culture is, by its very nature, a difficult thing to look at because it is what we take for granted as “the way things are.” Unfortunately, the way things are doesn’t work for dually-diagnosed people, so we have to look at it if we’re going to improve. This paper looks at some of the underlying cultural obstacles and recommends some different app...
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By: Canadian Mental Health Association   |  11/25/2013   |   Content Types: Article, Clinical tools, Outcome tools, Personal stories, Practice description, Research, Training material, Web site
Over the past year, the Standing Senate Committee on Social Affairs, Science and Technology has received more than two thousand submissions from all across Canada on the subject of mental health, mental illness and addiction. Hundreds of Canadians shared heartbreaking stories that revealed to the Committee the true state of Canada’s mental health, mental illness and addiction “system.” The members of the Committee have come to recognize the reality that profound change is essential if persons li...
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By: Food Addicts in Recovery Anonymous   |  12/9/2013   |   Content Types: Article, Personal stories, Program description, Web site
Are You Having Trouble with the Way You Eat? Food Addicts in Recovery Anonymous, FA, is a 12-step program of recovery for people who suffer from overeating, under-eating, bulimia, or obsession with food or body size. FA believes that there is a lot more to food addiction than “food” and that food addiction recovery must focus on the addiction as a disease concept. There are no dues or fees, and meetings are open to anyone who wants to stop eating addictively. www.foodaddicts.org Find out, "Am...
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By: Mark Ragins   |  2/4/2014   |   Content Types: Article, Personal stories
We began the Village with high hopes for our work with families. They had been strong advocates for the creation of the Village. We included them in our advisory board. They were included in our outcome study. We held several “open house” nights for families emphasizing Social Security and employment. I began doing family psychoeducation classes on medications and mental illnesses. But our programming never grew much beyond that.
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By: Kenya Howard via Createus Media, Inc.   |  2/20/2014   |   Content Types: Personal stories, Video
In this video, Kenya Howard discusses her path to recovery.
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By: Dwayne Hayes via Createus Media, Inc.   |  2/20/2014   |   Content Types: Personal stories, Training material, Video
In this video, Dwayne Hayes discusses his path to recovery.
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By: Andy Bernstein via Createus Media, Inc.   |  2/20/2014   |   Content Types: Personal stories, Video
In this video, Andy Bernstein discusses his path to recovery.
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By: Joseph Rogers via Createus Media, Inc.   |  2/20/2014   |   Content Types: Personal stories, Video
In this video, Joseph Rogers discusses his path to recovery.
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By: Robert D Martin via Createus Media, Inc.   |  2/20/2014   |   Content Types: Personal stories, Video
In this video, Robert Martin discusses his path to recovery.
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By: New York Association of Psychiatric Rehabilitation Services, Inc.   |  4/6/2014   |   Content Types: Curricula, Personal stories, Practice description, Program description, Research, Training material, Web site
The following is being jointly released today by NYAPRS and our partners at the University of Pennsylvania Collaborative on Community Integration providing a compendium of timely presentations on service transformation, integrated care and community integration that were presented at this past April’s NYAPRS Executive Seminar.
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By: Mark Ragins   |  4/6/2014   |   Content Types: Article, Outcome tools, Personal stories, Practice description, Research, Training material
Building Mental Health Service Act Programs
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By: Mark Ragins   |  4/6/2014   |   Content Types: Article, Personal stories, Practice description, Research
Dr. Mark’s Guidelines for Psychiatrist Teamwork
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By: Mark Ragins   |  4/6/2014   |   Content Types: Article, Outcome tools, Personal stories, Practice description, Research, Training material
Dr. Mark’s Ten Myths of Homeless Mental Illness
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By: A. Daniels and N. Adams   |  4/6/2014   |   Content Types: Article, Clinical tools, Personal stories
From Study to Action: A Strategic Plan for Transformation of Mental Health Care
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By: Mark Ragins   |  4/6/2014   |   Content Types: Article, Personal stories
Since most of my writings collect dust in my loyal coworkers’ desks or in long neglected computer files, I used to describe them as “audienceless”. But as the years have gone on some have managed to take on a life of their own, thanks to the internet or word of mouth, usually unbeknownst to me. This website is an effort to collect all of my major writings in one, reasonably organized place where hopefully you will find them and make good use of them. You may copy articles to share, but please...
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By: KEPRO   |  4/6/2014   |   Content Types: Clinical tools, Outcome tools, Personal stories, Practice description, Program description, Research
Information for providers of mental health services to support shared decision-making; explores staff roles and required skills, with links to additional resources.
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By: Mark Ragins   |  4/8/2014   |   Content Types: Article, Personal stories, Practice description, Research
Let's Include Psychiatrists
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By: Mark Ragins   |  4/8/2014   |   Content Types: Article, Personal stories, Practice description, Research
Mark's Goal-Setting Ideas
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By: Mental Health Center of Denver   |  4/8/2014   |   Content Types: Clinical tools, Curricula, Outcome tools, Personal stories, Practice description, Training material, Web site
Mental health recovery guides our work at the Mental Health Center of Denver. With one in every five people struggling with mental illness, our focus on recovery and resilience is essential to the community’s well-being.
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By: By: KERIS JÄN MYRICK, MBA, M.S., AND ANNELLE B. PRIMM, M.D., MPH   |  4/9/2014   |   Content Types: Article, Personal stories
Strength-based approaches to community healing
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By: International Association of Peer Supporters (iNAPS)   |  7/10/2014   |   Content Types: Article, Calendar Events, Event Announcements, Newsletter, Personal stories, Practice description, Program description, Research, Web site, Webinar
This page contains the current and back issues of the monthly iNAPS News.
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By: International Association of Peer Supporters   |  7/10/2014   |   Content Types: Curricula, Personal stories, Program description, Training material, Video, Web site, Webinar
A list of video resources that are used in the Recovery to Practice Next Steps training for experienced peer support providers, or other video resources that are highly recommended for peer providers.
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