Authors: Ken Thompson
Event: 2014 TheMHS Conference
Subject: Keynote, webcast, video, psychiatry, recovery
Type of resource: Video
Abstract: "Sadness shared is halved, joy shared is doubled"
Putting recovery into psychiatric practice has been a significant challenge. Its clear that the process of recovery belongs to the person who's recovery it is. It is entirely personal. But it can be difficult and hard work, and a helping hand and a variety of tools can be useful. Traditional psychiatric services have long been ambivalent about personal recovery and the exercise of personal agency and capability by people "being cared for". While the idealistically stated goal of psychiatric care has been to help people return to their full capacities and decision making abilities, in practice many approaches to providing care have substituted the care providers desires and choices for those of the person in need of help- often to the point of coercion. At the same time, sometimes safety is a compelling need.
What, if anything, can be salvaged from past practice as we move to develop services the support, rather then stifle, personal recovery? What needs to be discarded? And what needs to be created for the first time? How can recovery oriented practitioners deal the thorny issues of danger and coercion? These concerns have increasingly been at the heart of the practice of psychiatry- including my own. In the United States, the Recovery to Practice initiative, sponsored by the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Administration (SAMHSA) has been focused on these questions. This evolving American approach will be described to see what we might usefully share to find the path forward on both sides of the Pacific.