Let us rise up and be thankful, for if we didn’t learn a lot today, at least we learned a little, and if we didn’t learn a little, at least we didn’t get sick, and if we got sick, at least we didn’t die; so, let us all be thankful.
it has been a hella couple of months. i had no idea that my nature was so easy to track and my muse so omnipresent. life has felt so alive with inspiration and opportunity since i made a change in my full time gig. i knew i was unhappy, but i didn’t realize how stifled i had been feeling. each day since then seems to have brought new discovery, new beings, new collaborations, and a promise of some better days.
the next coach training is almost here. i think there might be enough requests to do another. we are presenting for a training contract next week as well. we will be starting a recover group in aurora on thursday nights and may look at another night in lakewood-both located conveniently in treatment oriented buildings that lend themselves to collaboration.
i am also looking toward pride right now. my friend mark has agreed to try to resurrect “surrounded by recovery” as a community building, consciousness raising, team building event this time during pride. the idea is to gather enough folks to hold hands and encircle the capital to raise awareness of the growing epidemic of deaths by overdose, the shortage of treatment availability, and that recovery is an option that has positive outcomes and often gets overlooked. here’s a glimpse of what use to happen and what we hope will happen again.
it has seemed almost like my ship was sinking and i have been rescued by a friendly fishing crew. i am reacquainting with fun at the workplace, and with not feeling constant financial pressure. it remains to be seen if i have learned what i need.
there are 2 more curricula to add to our course selections for this year: ccar introduced me to another training organization (mt) who have opened up my mind and eyes to possibilities.
1)Self-Care for Recovery Coaches & CRPA in a two day, retreat style format. Specifically for those who utilize peer support principles this workshop offers a parallel process of introspection and professional development. Participants are challenged to evolve their own self-care plan while developing the sensitivities to a recoveree’s unique pathway dynamics. Participants emerge from this two day workshop with a keen understanding of the role authenticity contributes to their role of recovery coaches as well as their personal well-being.
2)Recovery Coaching for All – Families, Friends & Colleagues,based on the original RCA, acknowledges and explores the experience of “everyone else” who either lives or works with an addict or recoveree. This new 30-hour curriculum (chronological or modular delivery available) is designed for people who wish to provide coaching support to all those affected by the addiction and/or recovery of another – first-tier family members, friends, partners, colleagues, employers, etc. Coaches are trained to help people identify, manage and meet their own recovery wellness goals independent of the addict/recoveree.
- Distinguish between addict/addiction
- Define and increase fluency in the language of recovery
- Delineate the roles and tools of a recovery coach
- Articulate the problems, pitfalls and potential of recovery
- Recognize and understand RECOVERY CAPITAL
- Build capacity to perform in a recovery coach role
- Discover and develop an authentic voice of recovery
- Describe how relationships impact recovery coaching
- Understand ethical context for recovery coaching
- Practice newly acquired skills
Specific skill sets – professional boundaries, recovery wellness planning, self-disclosure, stages of change/recovery, active listening, motivational interviewing, cultural competence, systems of care, multiple pathways, advocacy
oh yeah- have i shared with you my hopes for Bhaven? ask me if you would like to know more.
The Mental Health Parity and Addiction Equity Act:
Eliminates the practice of unequal health treatment. This practice has kept individuals with untreated substance use and mental health disorders from receiving critically important treatment services. Providing parity provides insurance coverage for substance use and mental health disorders equally to other chronic health conditions like diabetes, asthma, and hypertension.
Improves access to much needed mental health and substance use disorder treatment services through more equitable coverage. Millions of Americans with mental health (MH) and/or substance use disorders (SUD) fail to receive the treatment they need to get and stay well. The lack of health insurance coverage for MH and SUD treatment has contributed to a large gap in treatment services. Improving coverage of MH and SUD services will help more people get the care they need.
- recovery centers in your community;
- recovery activities and websites;
- peer support;
- mutual help groups;
- faith based supports;
- education and vocational;
- mental health services;
- medical care, including HIV Services;
- financial and budget counseling;
- legal, and advocacy services;
- alcohol/drug and gambling services;
- prevention for children and adolescents; and
- parenting and family services.
i spent yesterday at a training presented by afr and attc. its focus was a concept named (rosc) recovery oriented systems of care. its focus is that of the changing face of addiction treatment coinciding with the seismic shift called healthcare reform.
the presentation seemed validating in many ways with a shift in focus from treatment to recovery. and modifying my approach to my work to fit into this model should not require decades of reconstruction. and that is a major issue, really. the industry of drug and alcohol treatment will need to make drastic changes to stay afloat with this federally mandated tsunami called reform.
the beauty of the concept is that the patient/client gets the benefit. there is a longer view of the support that a person seeking recovery will have access. the time involved in recovery shifts from the classic (without evidence) 28 days and 90 days to 3 years for a stronger possibility of long-term recovery.
steve gumbley (the current board president of favor) presented in the afternoon segment. he shared some of his story of 25 years with recovery and discussed the idea of public responsibility with such a personal journey. this was a concept i had not considered thus far, although it is not too far from my own philosophy.
i am sharing the slides here. a couple of things that i take from this day are 1) in 3 months of treatment we may very well see a client only about 10 hours. this seems like a cruel joke with regard to the change that is expected from the client. 2) that treatment might really only be a triage, and that recovery support pathways are where the real work is done. 3) that mental health, physical health, emotional health are all involved in a person’s recovery and need to be tended if they are to grow. 4) providers, counselors, nurses, physicians might be more effective if they were to expand a client’s recovery capital as much as possible before releasing them from care.
as a person living in recovery, i am acutely aware that my recovery involves three levels of sobriety- physical sobriety, emotional sobriety, and spiritual sobriety. it makes sense that that treatment providers generally take this concept to a higher (pun intended) level. we need to address all these areas to assure our clients a better chance at a healthier recovery.
if you work in treatment, you definitely need to know about these concepts as this is the direction that samhsa has the money going. if you are in recovery, or seeking recovery, please consider these concepts. they are completely designed with people in recovery at the table. the language of recovery is changing and the business of treatment is evolving. no doubt it is way overdue… a million thanks to the obama administration for moving beyond the status quo.