APA is participating in a new federally funded
initiative designed to spread the word that people can
— and do — recover from mental illnesses.
BY REBECCA A. CLAY
Peter Ashenden was determined not to let his severe depression keep him from finishing his college degree and getting a job. The clinical staff at the day facility
where he was receiving treatment in the 1980s had a different
idea: a sheltered workshop for people with disabilities. “The
workshop was putting caps on lipstick tubes for six hours a day,”
remembers Ashenden, who now directs consumer and family
affairs at the insurance company OptumHealth.
the community and achieve their full potential.
Funded by the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services
Administration (SAMHSA), the five-year initiative has a dual
mission: to create an online repository of resources on recovery
principles (see sidebar) and practices and to develop recovery-focused training for mental health professionals.
APA is one of five national mental health organizations
to partner with SAMHSA; the other grantees include the
American Psychiatric Association, American Psychiatric Nurses
Association, Council on Social Work Education and National
Association of Peer Specialists. Like the other organizations,
APA will share resources and develop a recovery-oriented
curriculum that will be used to train its constituency.
“SAMHSA has made Recovery to Practice a priority, and