Mental Health Minnesota’s Beyond the Books workshop series explores topics that are essential to recovery oriented mental health care. The workshops are a continuing education opportunity for mental health care providers and are designed to offer a real world perspective that expands learning beyond the typical classroom experience. Each workshop focuses on a different aspect of mental health recovery from the perspective of people who have experienced living with a mental health condition.
We recently held our second workshop, “Engaging Clients in Recovery.” The workshop was facilitated by Mental Health Minnesota’s executive director, Shannah Mulvihill, and featured a panel of Certified Peer Support Specialists who have experienced living with a mental illness.
Each panelist shared their unique story of recovery, from when they first started to experience symptoms of a mental illness, to when they first received treatment for their illness, and to where they are in their recovery journey today.
While each of the panelists experienced living with a different mental health diagnosis, and have had very different paths to recovery, similar themes emerged from their stories.
All of the panelists emphasized the fact that having a mental health care provider who believed in them, and believed that they would recover from their illness, was an important piece of their recovery.
When asked what words of advice they would give to mental health providers who are trying to convey a sense of hope to their clients, the panelists answered:
- Believe that your clients will recover, and that recovery is possible. Let them know that you believe that they will recover.
- Provide your clients with the information they need to understand their diagnosis, treatment options, and supports and services that are available to them.
- Having a safe place to live is an extremely important basic need. Without a safe place to live, it is very difficult for people to move forward with other aspects of their mental health recovery.
- Remember that at the end of the day, your client is responsible for their own recovery. They should be involved in creating their plan for mental health recovery. Ask them what their goals are for the future.
- It’s okay if your clients want to challenge themselves to go above and beyond their initial recovery goals. Provide support to help them succeed.
Our next Beyond the Books workshop, “Effects of Social Isolation on Physical Health,” will be held on Thursday, October 26 from 8am – 9:30am at the Wilder Center in St. Paul. During this workshop, we will discuss the effects of social isolation and loneliness on physical health and talk about strategies that can be used to establish social supports. We will be offering the options to either attend the workshop in person or via live video.