When Recovery Hurts

I’ve written a lot about recovery from mental illness and addiction on this blog and in many other forums. I’ve described what recovery is and what it isn’t, and how to develop your own personal recovery plan to achieve your goals. It’s also worth repeating that one of my favorite definitions of recovery is “a process … Read more…

What Recovery Is (and What It Isn’t)

After working for many years with people in all stages of recovery from mental illness and addiction, I’m no longer surprised to hear the frequent question, “Just what is recovery anyway?” While I have a pretty solid idea of how I view the concept of recovery, I’ve realized the term carries different meanings and assumptions … Read more…

How You Can Help Me With My Recovery

We all know how critically important help, support and encouragement are if you’re recovering from a physical or mental health issue or addiction. But it’s really hard to ask for help because of fear, shame, guilt, anxiety, and a host of other challenges and barriers. If you’ve ever wanted to reach out for help and … Read more…

The Incredible Power of Peer Support

If you’re at all familiar with issues surrounding mental health and/or addiction, you’ve probably heard of the idea of peer support. But what is peer support and how do you become a peer supporter? Let’s cover these and a few other important points about this very effective and helpful approach. What are the origins of peer … Read more…

How to Identify Your Personal Strengths

Much has been written about the importance of finding and developing personal strengths as a vital part of the overall process of recovery when dealing with mental health or substance use issues. This is in contrast to an illness-based approach which has typically focused first on cataloging symptoms and problems associated with a person’s illness. … Read more…

WHAM! Using Whole Health Action Management to Address Mental Health and Substance Use Concerns

Over 60 years ago, Dr. Brock Chisholm, a psychiatrist and the first Director-General of the World Health Organization (WHO) said “Without mental health there can be no true physical health.” It’s now universally accepted that mental health and physical health are related and both must be included in any comprehensive personal recovery plan for mental … Read more…

That’s a WRAP! How You Can Benefit from a Wellness Recovery Action Plan

An incredibly useful tool for someone who is coping with a mental illness or other significant health challenges is the WRAP, or Wellness Recovery Action Plan. If you’re not already familiar with WRAP, you’re really missing out on a wonderful resource. Let’s review some of the basics about this very helpful approach. What is WRAP? The … Read more…

10 Priceless Gifts You Can Give to Someone with Mental Illness

Looking for that perfect holiday, birthday, or any day gift? If someone you care about is facing challenges related to mental health issues or addiction, you can give them many wonderful gifts throughout the year that won’t cost you a dime. Consider these. 1)  Give the gift of assistance “Helping others isn’t a chore; it is one … Read more…

Double Trouble in Recovery: 12-Step Support for Mental Illness and Addiction

If you ask anyone dealing with a substance use problem what “AA” means, they will immediately say “Alcoholics Anonymous.” Established in the 1930’s, AA is a well-known, effective peer-run approach used to help people in recovery from alcoholism. Several dozen offshoots of AA have been developed over the years which use the same “12-step model,” … Read more…

The ‘ABC’s of Recovery’

Recently I came across a terrific blog called “Romancing the Road to Recovery” by Jo Baltodano. In her blog, Jo says she suffered from an eating disorder since the 4th grade, but she didn’t seek help until age 25 when she was near death. She decided to engage in treatment and chose to fight to … Read more…

Join the Voices for Recovery!

Each September, SAMHSA, the US Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration sponsors “National Recovery Month” to increase awareness of mental health and substance use issues. Some of the key themes of the month-long event are that mental health is essential to overall health, prevention works, treatments are effective, and recovery is possible. The Recovery … Read more…

A Dozen Ways You Can Support Someone in Recovery

If you’re a friend or a family member of someone in recovery from mental illness or addiction, a common question you may ask is, “What should I do to support my friend or loved one with their recovery?” You want to be helpful and supportive, but you may feel at a loss as to what … Read more…

9 Benefits of Support Groups

It seems like there are support groups for just about any topic, concern, or health condition. Common types of mental health issues addressed in groups include alcohol and drug addiction, depression, bipolar disorder, anxiety, grief, borderline personality and eating disorders. While some groups may have professionals as leaders, many will be led by peers, who … Read more…

“What Do You Know About NAMI?”

There are many wonderful mental health organizations doing great work all around the world. So, when you single one out for praise, you run the risk of ticking off all the others. I’ll take that risk, because I want to recognize the many fine efforts of NAMI, the National Alliance on Mental Illness (www.nami.org). NAMI … Read more…

“Know the Five Signs” to Change Direction for Mental Health

US First Lady Michelle Obama recently announced the launch of the new “Campaign to Change Direction” (www.changedirection.org), backed by a host of non-profit organizations, mental health leaders and corporate sponsors. The campaign’s goals are to see mental health as having equal value to physical health, to recognize the signs of emotional suffering, and to encourage … Read more…

Why ‘Engagement’ is Better Than ‘Compliance’

People who are living with mental illness or addiction often have difficulty following through with the recommendations suggested by their health care professionals. A frequent example is not taking medications as prescribed, which can mean missing doses or discontinuing the medicine altogether. Other typical scenarios include not keeping follow-up appointments, not completing homework assigned in … Read more…

%d bloggers like this: