Elements of Recovery Priciples
One way of looking at the Elements of the Recovery Principles is to break it down into two components - What and How.
The What starts with a person, what the person identifies as what they want or need. This identification may itself require support or help from somebody else (e.g. a Recovery Support Worker) who then works with and supports that individual in a very practical way to meet their expressed needs. This may be assistance with housing, health and fitness, relationship and social connection, meaningful activity, recreation, education, employment, financial assistance, legal matters, obtaining clinical assistance, development of mental health coping skills, for example. Practical help is more than “just words” and in this l way a trusting relationship is built and some life stresses are decreased which is very important in a stress induced or stress aggravated disorder (for example mental illnesses).
The second essential key component is How the above is done. An effective and skilled recovery worker/mentor exemplifies respect for the uniqueness of each individual, focuses primarily on their strengths, exhibits optimism and hope for their future (especially when the person themselves seems to have no hope), repeatedly models goal setting, taking action and celebrating step by step achievements, and always encourages and reinforces empowerment.
By successfully combining the WHAT and the HOW not only are practical needs met and stress reduced but also through the agency and power of relationship independence, self-respect, confidence and the capacity of an individual to meet their own future needs is being developed.
The Recovery Model can be seen not an alternative to the traditional medical psychiatric approach but is a holistic synthesis of that approach with that which focuses on the need to empower the individual and see them in their total life context. As many consumers and their carers have said, good clinical care is great (if you can get it), but so is having opportunities and support to be able to develop your own unique potential. Indeed what the evidence is showing is, the more of those empowerment supporting opportunities you can access, the less clinical help you need. The following are some of the Recovery Services that have, and are creating those opportunities.