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Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration Department of Health and Human Services

Substance Abuse & Mental Health Services Administration Center for Mental Health Services

Last Updated: 6/22/2012

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SAMHSA’s Resource Center to Promote Acceptance,
Dignity and Social Inclusion Associated with
Mental Health (ADS Center)

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Partners in Recovery: Creating a Successful Practitioner-Consumer Alliance

Communication, Trust, Respect. 

These are the fundamental building blocks of an effective practitioner-consumer relationship. Recovery from mental health problems is more likely in an environment where consumers’ knowledge and expertise are valued, communication is open and encouraged, and consumers are meaningfully involved in determining their life goals and recovery plans.  Building an effective relationship between providers and consumers is central to achieving these goals.

It can be challenging, at times, in this era of managed care, limited resources, and rapid health care delivery to develop meaningful and effective partnerships based on the principles of recovery and consumer-centered care. However, relationships between mental health professionals and mental health consumers are strengthened and improved when an individual’s strengths and resiliencies, needs, preferences, and experiences are explored and valued.

In this brief 18-minute video, mental health consumers and practitioners share stories of what worked and what did not work in building constructive relationships. The stories included in the video provide an opportunity for reflection on what practitioners can contribute toward creating effective partnerships for recovery.  Topics addressed in the video include recovery, hope and empowerment, information dissemination, consumers as experts, and family and peer support.

The video builds upon recommendations made at four consumer-provider roundtable discussions sponsored by SAMHSA.

To access the video click here.


This Web site was developed under contract with the Office of Consumer Affairs in SAMHSA’s Center for Mental Health Services. The views, opinions, and content provided on this Web site do not necessarily reflect the views, opinions, or policies of SAMHSA or HHS. The resources listed in this Web site are not all-inclusive and inclusion on this Web site does not constitute an endorsement by SAMHSA or HHS.