We talked to Kristi, Assertive Community Treatment Services (ACT) Team Supervisor, about recovery and what it means.
Q: What does “recovery” mean in terms of mental illness?
Kristi: Recovery in mental illness is very individualized and looks different for different people. It is essentially learning to manage symptoms of mental illness in a way that allows a person to function and participate in life in the way that they want to. It is achieving a level of stability that can weather the ups and downs of life without being completely derailed.
Q: How does someone recover from a mental illness? How can mental health professionals help them?
Kristi: Mental health recovery involves learning and applying the tools to manage symptoms, which looks different for everyone. Everything is interconnected, so mental health recovery is holistic, including managing physical health, finances, relationships, housing, etc. Mental health professionals provide support and expertise to guide individuals as they work on addressing their unique experience of mental health symptoms and functional deficits. Mental health providers help to identify strengths and instill hope that recovery is possible.
Q: Is recovery possible for everyone with a serious and persistent mental illness?
Kristi: Absolutely! I wouldn’t do this work if I didn’t believe that. Managing expectations of what recovery looks like is important, though. I can’t put my idea of what I think recovery is onto the clients that I work with because it looks different for everybody. We do ‘celebrations’ in our team meeting every week, and some of the things that we celebrate seem so minor, but for that person, it is a huge accomplishment. Recovery is often just stringing together a series of minor victories that eventually leads to stability.
Q: How does Guild’s ACT team help clients recover from mental illness?
Kristi: The ACT team takes an individualized, holistic, wrap-around approach. We provide medication management to help ensure that clients are taking their medication consistently. We have the flexibility to increase visits when needed to provide additional support. We have case managers that specialize in helping with employment, chemical dependency, peer recovery, and provide therapy. We have nurses and psychiatrists on the team to immediately respond to medication changes. We address all areas that a client may be struggling in and provide ongoing support curated to meet their individual needs.
Get on the Road to Recovery!
Looking for mental health resources? We’re here to get you started on the road to recovery. Call our Community Access line at (651) 925-8490.
Looking for a job where you can make a difference in the lives of individuals with a mental illness? Check out our open positions!