RTP Weekly Highlight Header

December 8, 2011 Volume 2, Issue 44
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 RTP quarterly e-newsletters keep you posted on our efforts to bring recovery into everyday clinical practice. A variety of personal stories and columns reflect how we are promoting the vision, values, and principles of recovery for behavioral health practitioners and consumers. To view previous issues, please visit http://www2.dsgonline.com/rtp/resources.html. If you would like to contribute to the e-newsletter, please email recoverytopractice@dsgonline.com.

Working Together
RTP Professional Disciplines Collaborate to Fulfill a Shared Goal
by Carrie Nathans
One of the determinants for RTP's success is how effectively behavioral health professionals work together. In everyday practice, professionals from many disciplines—psychiatry, psychology, nursing, social work, and peer support, for example—must share the responsibility of care through consistent communication and knowledge exchange. The structure and aims of RTP parallel this interaction.

In the early stages of the project, SAMHSA and RTP project staff contemplated how best to promote the kind of teamwork and fellowship that could translate to multidisciplinary collaboration on a much larger scale. SAMHSA has fostered this collaboration by inviting behavioral health professionals to help fulfill a vital and ambitious mission to create better behavioral health care. To realize this goal, the RTP project encourages synergy and solidarity among five behavioral health-focused disciplines. These five professional organizations are working to facilitate teaching and training that will ultimately determine RTP's success. Though it is a multidisciplinary and multifaceted effort, RTP's objective is greater than the sum of its parts, and these organizations, joined in their dedication to improve behavioral health service and delivery, are leading the charge:

Five Professional Disciplines

As an outcome of the initiative, the participants are developing, pilot testing, and implementing recovery-oriented training materials for their respective professionals. Each organization began the process with self-guided qualitative research and an assessment of recovery, specifically the extent to which it exists and occurs within the profession. Following the development of Situational Analyses that reflect each profession's history and culture—including how evidence-based practices influence the adoption of formal training—the organizations will create extensive and well-rounded curricula.

The October 26–30 Alternatives Conference, "Coming Home: Creating Our Own Communities of Wellness and Recovery," in Orlando, Florida, was a milestone for the RTP initiative and the five professional disciplines. At a very early point in their 5-year program to develop recovery-oriented educational materials, the organizations' joint session at the conference was an inspiring example of how distinctive groups can work together to promote mental and behavioral health recovery. Each discipline's presentation at the panel session, "Recovery to Practice: Integrating Mental Health Recovery into Behavioral Health Professions," demonstrated a steadfast commitment to promoting awareness of recovery through research, education, and systemic implementation; the importance of trauma-informed care; and expanded training, advocacy, and consistency in behavioral health techniques and practices. Representatives of the associations discussed their progress in developing recovery-centered curricula and plans for testing and finalizing the educational materials for broad dissemination.

In a constructive review of the steps necessary for integrating mental health recovery into psychology, the American Psychological Association (APA) discussed the importance of education and training. Their curriculum outline was consistent with the values and principles of psychology, while emphasizing recovery-oriented outcomes as the basis for clinical care. With insight from mental and behavioral health care consumers and a comprehensive training program, APA described how students and practitioners would become more familiar with recovery knowledge and approaches.

The American Psychiatric Association (ApA) and American Association of Community Psychiatrists (AACP) identified their target audience and time line for RTP training and implementation. Their educational modules included direction for creating a welcoming, engaging, and respectful patient-provider environment; collaborative medication management; and an integrated mental, physical, and spiritual approach to recovery and well-being. As they connect with medical school residents, early career psychiatrists, and program supervisors, ApA and AACP will provide essential guidance at critical points in a professional's development.

Highlighting the specialized role social workers can play in promoting awareness and integration of recovery ideology, the Council on Social Work Education focused on their leadership of social work training in the U.S. They identified gateways for RTP acceptance and dissemination, including the potential for early adopters to serve as resources, and existing partnerships that could facilitate a much-needed transition to trauma-informed care.

In the same vein, the National Association of Peer Specialists demonstrated how they would maximize their expertise on peer specialist resources to deliver recovery-focused mental health services. Their overview of training objectives included a plan for advancing recovery knowledge, continuing education, and expanding the practice base of peer specialists throughout the country. Many of the curriculum components incorporated methods for helping peer specialists understand the nature of co-occurring disorders, culture, and trauma-informed practices.

The American Psychiatric Nurses Association (APNA) reflected on their "discovery" process—a year of facilitated discussion, interviews, literature review, and seminars. What they found was a dire need for widespread education, consistency, and recovery expertise. APNA explained their intermediate and long-term goals to develop and implement training curricula. In the short term, in-patient nurses will begin to use recovery-oriented language, share decision making with mental health consumers, and gradually integrate recovery care into their practices.

As we enter the third year of the RTP initiative, the collaborative efforts of the five professional disciplines increasingly reflect the nature of recovery itself. As much as the healing process is focused on autonomy and dependent on a person's individual will to pursue a more fulfilling and meaningful life, it takes the support of many—friends, family members, health care providers, and advocates—to truly change one's life and, more importantly, to sustain that transformation.

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

To access the professional disciplines' PowerPoint presentations from the Alternatives Conference, click here.

Let's Get Real: An Integrated Approach to Workforce Development
Let's Get Real is a New Zealand Ministry of Health framework that describes information, skills, and approaches for delivering effective mental health and substance abuse therapy. The program aims to develop shared language and practices for establishing better behavioral health services and recognizing the value of behavioral health professionals. Implementation will span the next 3 years. When fully established, all mental health and addiction workforce development activities will link back to the Let's Get Real framework.

January 31, 2012

1 p.m. EST

This Webinar will discuss the Let's Get Real framework—a tool for building a recovery-focused, person-centered, and culturally capable workforce committed to improving mental health care service and delivery.

Click here to register.

Music Therapy
Music does more than provide entertainment—it's an effective therapy that helps people with mental health challenges manage their symptoms, improve day-to-day functioning, and move toward recovery. Now you can enjoy "Music for the Mind," new songs and videos updated daily at InnerVision. Joyce Cooling is December's featured artist. A guitarist, vocalist, and songwriter, she is also an advocate for the National Alliance on Mental Illness.

To listen, click here.

New Online Recovery Resource
On October 6, Working to Recovery and the International Mental Health Collaborating Network launched the International Centre for Recovery Action (ICRA) Whole Life Web site. The site is designed for recovery practitioners to share knowledge and experiences.

ICRA Whole Life is a new initiative that promotes recovery for people who have struggled with mental health challenges. The program includes an interactive e-learning center for education, practice development, research, and innovative techniques that incorporate a comprehensive recovery approach focused on a person's overall well-being.

To visit the Web site, click here.

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

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

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