Expect Recovery….

Gina Nikkel, PhD
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Expect Recovery….seems like a tall order, especially for people that have: little hope; spent years cycling in and out of hospitals; spent years on doses of medications that have left them with metabolic syndrome or worse; not found what works for them; unresolved trauma; minimal or no support systems; unresolved housing and living needs; etc.

The Foundation for Excellence in Mental Health Care was created as a response to the implications in Bob Whitaker’s book Anatomy of an Epidemic. Several people around the world read Bob’s book at about the same time and realized that there had to be a national conversation, an international conversation about the research reviewed! Psychiatrists, psychologists, social workers, public policy experts, philanthropists, people with lived experiences and family members reached out to Bob who connected us all and the Foundation for Excellence in Mental Health Care (FEMHC) was born.

FEMHC’s mission is to promote better mental health outcomes. We do so by identifying, developing, and sharing knowledge with the public about mental health care that best helps people recover and live well in society. We promote improvements in mental health care by sponsoring research and the development of programs designed to help people thrive – physically, mentally, socially and spiritually.

Our tag line Expect Recovery…..The New Mainstream is pretty bold but WE have to be to affect change.

We are thrilled that SAMHSA has just released a working definition of “recovery” and guiding principles: “A process of change through which individuals improve their health and wellness, live a self-directed life, and strive to reach their full potential.” We believe this national focus on recovery is a key component in changing personal and public attitudes towards mental health.

In this era of health care reform we must have a societal dialogue that encourages all of us as individuals build a full tool box for dealing with mental health challenges personally, in our families, and for the public good.

Please visit us at www.femhc.org as we continue to build the conversation, discuss the existing research, create new research opportunities and support our professionals and loved ones with lived experience in creating a New Mainstream in mental health care……Expect Recovery!

3 COMMENTS

  1. I had to look around, but I found this:

    “The foundation has received $12 million of funding proposals, and has given approximately $350,000 to four projects — a program involving early psychosis in Massachusetts; funding a national media campaign highlighting people with mental illness who are in recovery; funding the translation of four American-made documentaries about mental illness into different languages, and funding university professors to create “guideline papers,” or non-biased research that can inform treatment protocols, about psychiatric medication and treating schizophrenia.”

    Funding (empowerment) truly is so vital to your mission’s success. Without funding (empowerment), nothing happens and you go nowhere. Correct? Your formation will fall apart, people disengage and disconnect. Right?

    How do you address the “mental health” needs of individuals who are under-funded? Would you say the level of funds are a direct impact on the “mental health” of individuals? How can this matter be addressed? Are people healthier when they’re gainfully and profitably employed? Is it possible to do some work on say, raising minimum wage in this country, for the sake of Mental Health and Well-Being?

    “To be happy though poor is not only possible but fervently wished for us by our relatives.” ~ Robert Brault

    If I were suddenly adequately funded, could that have an immediate effect my well-being? How vital is money in the matter of mental and emotional unwellness?

    Of the $12 million funds you report, do you intend to establish a model that allows for paid-not-volunteer peer-support workers? Could this be vital to recovery-focused care? How many people would be more motivated to want to engage a recovery process if their navigation in that process would lead them to financial reward? I know so little; maybe there is already an established route from “patient-to-employed”.

    What if in my rich community, Burger King offered me $18.00 per hour, instead of $8.00? Would I experience less mental and emotional stress in “flipping burgers” if I was paid better? Would I FEEL better if I was PAID better? If I’m paid like a slave, will I FEEL like a slave?

    As an executive director, do you derive greater pleasure in that title and role – no doubt, compensated favorably – than I would as a burger flipper for slave wages?