Mental Health Recovery Competencies

Source: King County Mental Health, Chemical Abuse and Dependency Services Division

I. Orientation to Mental Health Recovery:

A belief in and understanding of Recovery that includes:

Understanding and using the ten core principles from the national consensus statement on recovery (hope, self direction, individualized and person-centered, empowerment, holistic, non-linear, strengths-based, peer support, respect, and responsibility) plus resiliency, added by the Washington State Transformation Project.

The history and course of the consumer movement.

The research about the probability of mental health recovery.

An understanding of and a commitment to protect consumers’ rights

Discovering how “recovery” serves the mission, enriches the provider’s experience and ability to be present to the people we serve and the work.

II. The Clinical Relationship:  Creating A Culture of Respect:

Building a clinical relationship based upon mutuality and partnership.

Understanding the continuum of the recovery process model from unaware disengaged/dependency to aware/interdependency /independence.  Ability to engender hope, optimism, and recovery for people at every level of disability, various degrees of insight, and/or various levels of motivation – “dependent, unaware”, etc.

The ability to inspire people to assume or resume employment, education, a social life or normalized housing, and to thrive in these roles.

III. Recovery Care Planning:

Able to partner with adult consumers and families of children and youth as they direct and design their recovery plan (ISP), including:

  • assisting people to recognize their strengths and to utilize their strengths in implementing their recovery plan
  • assisting people to explore what recovery means to them and what they need to realize that vision
  • assisting people to prioritize and set goals with objectives that are specific, measurable, achievable, realistic and timely.

Encourage and support adults/families/youth to consider each life domain, including housing, education, financial assets, vocation, leisure and recreation, health and wellness (including mental health), intimacy and sexuality and spirituality.

Able to inspire and support people to use mainstream and personal resources that might meet their needs.

Understand the value of risk taking by adult consumers and staff in order to promote further growth.

Able to promote and responsibly support personal choice even when the clinician doesn’t necessarily agree.

IV. Documentation of the service process:

Documenting the process of service provision in a recovery model that meets sometimes apparently conflicting requirements such as demonstrating medical necessity.

V.  Promoting Respect, Dignity and Social Inclusion:

Understanding external, institutional and self stigma and the effects on adults, youth, and families

Able to teach and support people to cope with stigma

Able to help them to challenge and overcome discrimination and social exclusion.

VI. Cultural Considerations in Promoting Recovery:

Understanding how recovery principles might be unique or different in different cultures…

VII. Assisting Consumers to develop WRAP and/or Advance Directives:

Knowledgeable about WRAP and Advance Directives.  Able to support and assist people to develop and implement a WRAP plan.  Able to assist people in developing Advance Directives.

VIII. Peer Support Services:

Understanding the mutually affirming roles of peer support and professional services, including how a peer support specialist differs from a case aide.

IX.  Employment:

Knowledgeable about how to support people to find, get and keep jobs, either directly or as a referral and if referred, how to support that continued relationship and the person’s successes.

X.  Working with family (including families of choice):

Understanding the family experience of a family member with a psychiatric disability.  Knowledgeable about the affect on roles in a family.  Able to encourage and support family/professional/consumer collaboration.

Competencies still to be developed:

Trauma Informed Care

Chronic Health Issues Management and Collaboration with Medical Providers

Nicotine Addiction

Co-occurring Disorders and Recovery