Melanie - posted on 11/04/2009 ( no moms have responded yet )
I am wrapping up a two week training in a (relatively new) concept in mental health/substance abuse treatment. The concept is called Recovery. Recovery is based on the thought that a person doesn't necessarily return to the way they were prior to the onset of their symptoms, but that they can remember who they are, and strive to become all they can be. For some people that may not necessarily mean vast improvement, but sustaining the quality of life they have. For others, it's finding ways to increase independence and interdependence within their community.
My specific training is as a peer support specialist--my experience as someone with a diagnosis, a parent of children with diagnoses and an advocate for my family, as well as my past struggles with alcohol (as a result of stopping my medication) makes me a peer of someone seeking help, and hopefully makes me someone others feel comfortable opening up to. A peer support specialist is not a counselor, a therapist or a doctor, but is part of a person's treatment team. They are to be a caring, supportive resource for those in need.
A main point of Recovery is that the person seeking services is in control of their own Recovery, and that they ultimately know what is best for themselves. A PSS is not there to make their decisions for them, but to help them see what their treatment options are, and to empower the person seeking services to make those choices for themselves.
I am so excited about the things I am learning, and the ways I have been able to implement them in my life so far... even just within my own home! If you would like to know more, please let me know, and I will do my best to find what resources I can for you. This concept was pioneered in Arizona, and is quickly spreading throughout California. As we all know though, any change in mental health care and options tends to take some time.
I hope you all share the enthusiasm and hope I feel regarding Recovery.