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November 10, 2011 Volume 2, Issue 41
Please share the Recovery to Practice (RTP) Weekly Highlights with your
colleagues, clients, friends, and family!

To access RTP's Weekly Highlights, quarterly e-newsletters, Webinar recordings,
and PowerPoint presentations,
please visit http://www.dsgonline.com/rtp/resources.html.
The 2011 "Recovery-Oriented Care Continuum" Webinar series featured four steps:
Step 1: Outreach & Engagement
Step 2: Person-Centered Care Planning
Step 3: Promoting Recovery Through Psychological and Social Means
Step 4: Graduation

Click on the links above to download the PowerPoint presentations and recordings.

Say Goodbye to a Ham and Cheese Life
by Steve Harrington
Who among us is fully satisfied with his or her life? At some place in our hearts and minds, don't we all long for something better? Don't we all crave something different—big or small—in our lives?

Part of the human experience is to want change. Whether it's more money, a better relationship, freedom from pain, acceptance, more comfortable surroundings, or opportunities for personal growth—everyone desires change at some point. Even the most hopeless person would welcome hope. Even those who are most lost would embrace direction.

But the reality is if nothing changes, everything stays the same. Without change, life satisfaction remains an elusive shadow that follows but cannot catch us.

What would make your life more meaningful? Enjoyable? Satisfying? You probably already know. And you may also know how to obtain it. The hard part is acting on your plan for making changes that will improve your life. Consider this story:

Three construction workers building a skyscraper are eating lunch on a steel beam hundreds of feet above the ground. The first worker opens his lunch box and pulls out a ham and cheese sandwich.

"Ham and cheese!" he exclaims. "I've had ham and cheese sandwiches every day for the last year! If I get another ham and cheese sandwich, I don't know what I'll do!"

The men finish their meals and the next day find themselves eating lunch on the same steel beam. Yet again, the first worker pulls out a ham and cheese sandwich.

"Ham and cheese!" he shouts. "I can't take it anymore!" And with that, he jumps off the beam and plummets to his death hundreds of feet below.

The second worker turns to the man still on the beam and says, "Gee, I've never seen anyone so upset about a ham and cheese sandwich."

"Yeah," agrees the other. "What's really odd is that he makes his own lunch!"

Is your life a ham and cheese sandwich? Instead of roast beef, are you settling for ham and cheese because fear of change compels you to pack the same meal every day?

The ability to change our lives lies within us. Stepping out of our routines takes courage. It takes a willingness to challenge our fears and risk unpleasantness or failure. But we can do it in small steps until we gain the confidence risk takers know so well.

Instead of plain ham and cheese, add a little mayonnaise one day... then mustard. Toast the bread and soon you will be ready for that roast beef.

Always remember: if nothing changes, everything stays the same. Remind yourself of how satisfying, enjoyable, and more meaningful life could be.

Once you stop packing ham and cheese sandwiches for lunch, you may discover a world filled with egg salad, tuna, turkey, chicken, and peanut butter. You may discover a world of immense diversity and rich opportunity.

You might look back and scold yourself for living a life filled with ham and cheese sandwiches. But then you will look forward to each lunch hour, when you can open your mouth wide to embrace new tastes.

If your life is one ham and cheese sandwich after another and frustration has compelled you to consider a leap off that steel beam, heed my words: muster the courage to take a risk. Gather your dreams, hopes, and desires for a better life... and change your diet!

After he was diagnosed with a psychiatric condition, Steve Harrington lived on a steady diet of ham and cheese sandwiches for 5 years. He now enjoys a great variety of food!

Recovery Resources at APNA and APA Conferences
The American Psychiatric Nurses Association (APNA) recently held its 25th annual conference, the most highly attended meeting to date, with more than 1,250 participants. Mental health recovery was a prominent theme in the keynote address presented by SAMHSA Administrator Pam Hyde, J.D., and throughout the educational and networking activities offered at the conference, including the pre-conference course, presentations, and poster sessions. For more information about the conference and access to APNA's current resources and announcements, visit their Recovery to Practice page.

The American Psychiatric Association (APA) conducted its annual Institute on Psychiatric Services, a program designed for all mental health professionals. This year, the association developed and delivered a record number of recovery-oriented sessions in a variety of formats. Among the 1,200 attendees were representatives from the RTP professional disciplines, who presented project activities and training plans to a multidisciplinary group.

Occupational Therapists Practicing Recovery
"The concept that there are multiple pathways to recovery and that it is based on a person's strengths, needs, and preferences is very compatible with occupational therapy, which seeks to help people achieve the goals they set and live life to its fullest," says Dr. Virginia Stoffel, Associate Professor of Occupational Science and Technology at the University of Wisconsin–Milwaukee's College of Health Sciences. To read about how the peer support model is becoming more widely practiced in occupational therapy (OT) and to access profession-specific information, click here.

Although OT professionals don't always work in a mental health specialty setting, they do participate on multidisciplinary teams with behavioral health professionals. Access the American Occupational Therapy Association's fact sheet to learn more about the correlation between recovery-oriented practice and OT.

Mental Health Research and News
Puerto Rico Reaches Agreement on Mental Care
Puerto Rico has reached an agreement with the U.S. Government ending a 12-year legal battle to improve the island's system of care for people with mental illness. Federal officials had accused the U.S. territory of abusing and neglecting hundreds of patients by not providing food, medication, adequate housing, or therapy. Puerto Rico has since agreed to make numerous changes, including opening new treatment centers and hiring more employees. Read the article.

Petition Questions Changes to DSM-5
Dr. David Elkins, a clinical psychologist and professor at Pepperdine University's Graduate School of Education and Psychology, created an online petition questioning proposed revisions to the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM). His petition expresses concern that the new manual would classify normal behaviors as psychological conditions, which could lead to inappropriate or unnecessary treatments. Over a 10-day period, more than 2,800 people signed the petition, which was co-sponsored by 5 divisions of the American Psychological Association. The American Psychiatric Association plans to publish the new edition of DSM-5 in 2013. Read the article.

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

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

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