Recovery Policy: Promoting a Recovery-Oriented Service System

This policy is to formally express the concept of “recovery” as the overarching goal of the service system, for persons with severe mental illness, directly operated or funded by Northern Lakes Community Mental Health (NLCMH).

Recovery shall be the guiding principle and operational framework for our system of care provided by the partnership of public and private agencies and consumer-run services that comprise the NLCMHA services and supports system. This begins with the belief that recovery is achievable and possible. We must project hope, communicate the expectation of recovery, and empower people to exercise choice and control over their lives, including the purchase of supports and services and the choice of providers. This must begin by our being a welcoming environment that begins to build hope from the first contact.
It is essential that we do not fail to put this into practice because recovery may conflict with deeply held internal images of how the public mental health system works or images that limit us to familiar ways of thinking and acting. Instead of focusing primarily on symptom relief, recovery casts a much wider spotlight on restoration of self-esteem and identity and on attaining meaningful roles in society.

We seek to have our recovery-oriented service system be notable for its excellence and to be recognized by others as a public sector best practice model. The system we envision shall be consistent with the National Consensus Statement on Mental Health Recovery developed by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, Center for Mental Health Services. This includes the following 10 Fundamental Components of Recovery:
•    Self-Direction
•    Individualized and Person Centered
•    Empowerment
•    Holistic
•    Non-Linear
•    Strengths Based
•    Peer Support
•    Respect
•    Responsibility
•    Hope

The foundation of our efforts began with the incorporation of the recovery principles within our Vision and Mission, and Ends policy. This has further been enhanced through our strategic planning and most significantly through the creation and implementation of our Recovery Blueprint.

Changing the NLCMHA mental health system to one that is based on the principles of recovery requires a concerted effort by all and must include the active participation of consumers, who have “lived experience” and their supporters at every level of the system. Meaningful involvement of consumers will promote their and other consumers’ opportunity to lead self-determined lives in the community, rather than remaining dependent on the mental health system. In our recovery culture, peer support will be seen as a central focus of services and supports. Consumer and family involvement is critical and they shall have meaningful roles and voice in system design, service delivery, and outcome evaluation.

Recovery is the responsibility of the consumer and our role is to help facilitate his or her recovery journey.  This begins with individualized, consumer-authored recovery planning. Person-centered planning maximizes consumer choice, self-determination, and sharing of both power and responsibility. Consumers should have the full opportunity to select those services and supports which, in his/her evaluation, would best meet his or her needs at that time. We know people are not defined or limited by their illnesses and can live rich and satisfying lives – we can help facilitate this by providing excellent treatment and support services. This includes increasing personal knowledge of and approaches to addressing illness through adherence to whole health-promoting activities (mind, body, and spirit) that assist in building resiliency and enhancing physical health.

To promote change, providers shall:
•    Develop positive, caring relationships with persons served by listening with respect, accepting the individual as a unique person, and valuing his/her strengths, abilities, and dreams.

•    Develop and demonstrate excellence in the person-centered planning process, assisting the individual in setting and reaching goals, and increasing his/her level of personal control and self-esteem.  Self-Determination shall be available to every individual and allow her/him to have control over the selection of his/her services and the individualized budget needed to fund the chosen services.

•    Link persons to appropriate services, benefits, and entitlements. All persons providing services described in the Person-Centered Plan will make a concerted effort to keep each other appraised of the individual’s status regarding goal achievement and/or service efficacy as defined by the consumer.

•    Assist individuals in the identification and use of natural supports and peer-related activities as these are critical to the recovery process.  Connecting those served with successful role models and with peer directed services is highly beneficial.

•    Create opportunities to and encourage participation in meaningful activities including employment and in community settings as a regular component of the recovery process.  Expressed desires to participate in these activities shall be encouraged and promoted.  Support shall be provided to assist individuals served to fully access their community.

We will promote and monitor use of tools to assist in recovery including peer run groups, WRAP plans, crisis planning, and psychiatric advance directives. Further, we will continue our stigma reduction work and seek means to measure the application of recovery principles to the broader community and within our service system using approaches and materials commensurate with cultural and spiritual values.

We will actively evaluate our progress consistent with quality improvement approach to ensure Individual, program, and system outcomes.

Adoption Date:    April 27, 2009