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Recovery to Practice Bridging People, Knowledge, Tools, and Experience
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The Recovery to Practice (RTP) is a 5-year project funded by the Associate Director for Consumer Affairs Office of the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) Center for Mental Health Services (CMHS) to incorporate the vision of recovery into the concrete and everyday practice of mental health professionals in all disciplines. Under the guidance of a national steering committee that comprises a wide variety of individuals with diverse life experiences, professional training, and expertise, this initiative brings together what is already known by consumers, practitioners, and researchers about mental health recovery, along with a wealth of information about what practices appear to be most effective in promoting and sustaining recovery throughout the country.

The RTP initiative supports SAMHSA’s commitment to promoting mental health recovery through the priority area of workforce development and by developing and disseminating training strategies for these disciplines based on the 10 key recovery concepts and principles described in SAMHSA’s 2006 National Consensus Statement on Mental Health Recovery National Consensus Statement on Mental Health Recovery External Web Site Policy. Through these efforts, SAMHSA is helping recovery transform mental health practice nationwide.
The RTP initiative centers on two complementary components:
  1. Creating RTP resources for mental health professionals complete with Web-based and print materials, training, and technical assistance for professionals engaged in the transformation process
  2. Creating and disseminating recovery-oriented training materials for each of the major mental health professions
Based on these two major components, the RTP initiative aims to foster a better understanding of recovery, recovery-oriented practices, and the roles of the various professions in promoting recovery.

Recovery to Practice Resources

Many visions of recovery-oriented care are now converging into a rich tapestry of practices that are solidly based on people’s lived experiences of recovery. However, the information currently available on these practices is scattered and difficult for providers and others to find. The RTP Resources bring together all of the existing information and relevant materials on translating recovery into practice in one central place.

The RTP Resources site will serve as the national hub for an evolving, well-organized, and readily accessible depository of materials on recovery and recovery-oriented practice, quarterly Webinar trainings, and an e-bulletin board. Each year, the RTP Resources site will also publish several booklets, brochures, and articles on these topics, along with a quarterly e-newsletter. The Recovery Resources will include training and technical assistance staff available to respond to telephone and email requests and to arrange longer consultations.

While mental health practitioners are RTP’s primary audience, the resources are also available to anyone interested in promoting the cause of recovery transformation, mental health consumers, people in recovery and their families, programs and their leaders, service systems and their administrators, other stakeholders, and the community at large. The materials and information are available to the public at no cost.

New resources are being incorporated on an ongoing basis. To keep the resources robust and current, contributors are invited to submit suggestions for useful articles, videos, curricula, and personal stories, as well as announcements about upcoming relevant conferences and meetings. In addition, RTP will disseminate a quarterly e-newsletter and other announcements to those who join the Listserv. Please click Join Listserv to receive all RTP communications.

Collaboration with Mental Health Professional Organizations to Develop Recovery-Oriented Training Curricula

With recovery-oriented training materials, mental health professionals will be able to embrace and practice recovery-oriented approaches while enhancing their core personal and professional values. In addition, they will learn new ways of working collaboratively across professions to more effectively support individuals with mental illnesses as they enter into and pursue recovery. This collaboration will be based on the expectation that each profession has a unique role to play coming from different traditions and facing different challenges, but joins in a collective effort to learn about and adopt new and innovative practices that build on its respective histories and strengths.

In 2009, SAMHSA approved awards for five national behavioral health care provider associations to promote awareness, acceptance, and adoption of recovery-based practices in the delivery of mental health services. In support of the agency’s strategic initiative to enhance the Nation’s behavioral health workforce, the five awards represent a new major outreach facilitated by SAMHSA to directly engage the Nation’s key mental health professional groups in an ongoing effort to fundamentally improve the provision of behavioral health care services.

The following national mental health professional organizations will receive funding over a 5-year period to develop recovery-oriented educational materials and train thousands of psychiatrists, psychologists, psychiatric nurses, social workers, and mental health peer specialists:
  • American Psychiatric Association
  • American Psychological Association
  • American Psychiatric Nurses Association
  • Council on Social Work Education
  • National Association of Peer Specialists
For more information about this initiative, please contact RTP staff at External Web Site Policy.