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PSYCHIATRIC REHABILITATION VALUES

In the early 1990’s a director of the Center for Psychiatric Rehabilitation from Boston University
made appearances at a number of conferences and seminars around the country. His name was
William “Bill” Anthony. He was in the forefront of the mental health recovery movement. Bill
spoke in terms of ‘recovery’ from mental illness and promoted concepts like ‘wellness’ and ‘hope’.
During the 1970’s and early 80’s institutionalization was still the norm for many persons with
‘serious and persistent mental illness’. Deinstitutionalization began in Indiana in 1983, when BS
level staff was hired to conduct community surveys. Their job was to identify the type of services
necessary to sustain persons with mental illness in the community. Initial services consisted of
residential programs and day programs. Eventually vocational services along with communitybased
case management came into being. By 1993 the State of Indiana introduced Medicaid
Rehabilitation Option funding, making it possible for all mental health centers around the state to
expand from 1 case manager per county to multiple case managers for adults. Then by 1997
children and adolescents received financial coverage.

The VALUES of Psychiatric Rehabilitation* took us from day treatment services that provided an
ADL maintenance mentality to ushering in the first Clubhouse in Indiana, with an emphasis on the
following:

  • FUNCTIONING – a focus on competency in all areas of life
  • ENVIRONMENT – programming with ‘real world’ context, known as the ‘in vivo’ experience
  • OUTCOME – evaluating clients’ success based on the accountability of the rehabilitation deliverer
  • ORIENTATION – judging the usefulness of technique by its impact on client outcome
  • CLIENT INVOLVEMENT – focus on the participation by the client in selecting his/her own goals
  • CHOICE – allowing the client to determine his/her success and satisfaction measures
  • COMPREHENSIVENESS – a holistic view of persons served: mind, body, spirit
  • SUPPORT – providing assistance and reinforcement as long as needed
  • GROWTH POTENTIAL – a focus on the inherent capacity of any person to improve and grow; an attitude of hope
  • INDIVIDUALIZATION – respecting a person’s unique differences and developing specificity as a means of distinguishing among people.

*Farkas, M.D. and Anthony, W.A.(1989)Psychiatric Rehabilitation Programs: Putting Theory into Practice. Baltimore,
Johns Hopkins University Press

It is this approach, along with CARF standards of care that has provided the underpinning of
service philosophy and practices at Northeastern Center, Inc. Each year, as we recognize
MAY as MENTAL HEALTH AWARENESS MONTH, let us remind ourselves that our valuesdriven,
consumer-focused recovery models continue to provide the best outcomes for all persons
served.
Submitted by: Sue Sprague, LCSW