Category Archives: Recovery Support

Amplifying Consumer Voices

In raising awareness around suicide prevention and celebrating recovery, our community sent a strong message this September: suicide is preventable and recovery is possible.

One of the most important things we did this September – and will continue to do all year long – is amplify the voices of those who have worked hard to overcome their behavioral health challenges. In sharing these stories, we embolden others to seek recovery as well. Read more

NAMI SMC Offers new Peer Support Program, Peer Pals

 is introducing a new peer support program called Peer Pals. A Peer PAL is someone who is doing well in his or her recovery, and wants to share their friendship and support with a peer who is also experiencing mental illness.peer pals Peer PALS receive monthly training in recovery and mentorship and are compensated for their time.

The program is free to clients who wish to be paired with a Peer PAL who can help them on their own journey to recovery. For more information on the program and how to apply, see the Peer PALS brochure.

Busting Myths About Mental Illness

It is very possible to survive and thrive after being diagnosed with a mental illness. Nearly 20 percent of American adults will suffer from a mental illness at some point in a given year, according to the National Institute of Mental Health. The condition can range from a mild, short-lived bout of depression to severe schizophrenia that may require hospitalization or lifelong medication.

As common as mental illness is though, certain myths are surprisingly persistent and prejudice continues to be widespread.  “Busting Myths About Mental Illness” on, provides insight into some of the common beliefs shown below:

  1. You can “snap out of” mental health problems. You can’t just magically think your way out of a mental illness, whether it’s mild or severe.
  2.  If you have a mental illness, you can’t hold down a job . While it’s true that those with a serious mental illness are less likely to be working, many people are able to successfully manage their conditions and find success at work.
  3. Mental health problems breed violence. The vast majority of people with mental illness are not violent.  Although people with severe mental illness are up to three times more likely to be violent than those who are mentally healthy, they contribute to just a small part of violence in society.   And only about 3 to 5 percent of violent acts can be attributed to mental illness. In fact, researchers have found that people with mental illness are about 10 times more likely to be victimized by violence than the general population.
  4. You can’t recover from mental illness.  Many people do make it through mild or moderate episodes of mental illness and never experience them again. Others with more serious conditions are able to successfully control them and live the life they want, just like people with such chronic diseases as diabetes.

Read the full story to debunk these myths and learn this must know information.



Bridging Spirituality within Clinical Practice

On February 23rd, members of the Spirituality Initiative presented at a training entitled “Bridging Spirituality within Clinical Practice” at the SMC Ground Rounds.

Dr. Paul Yang, Dr. Farah Zaidi, Dr. Barbara Weissman, Renee Prior-Johnson, and Eduardo Tirado presented how spirituality assists clients in their recovery.   Dr. Zaidi and Dr. Yang shared two vignettes on how their clients used spirituality and the meaning it had for each of them. Both psychiatrists had encouraged them to explore the impact of spirituality in their lives. Dr. Yang urged those in attendance to be open their own personal spirituality as he believes that it assists providers in being more caring and loving, thus enables them to be more present with each client they encounter.


Ms. Prior-Johnson, who is a part of Adult Resource Management, shared two vignettes of AOD clients who she had assisted with exploring their spirituality.  This is something that she had done for years and has found it to be an effective way of encouraging and supporting a strength in each person.

Mr. Tirado shared his personal story of his continuing recovery from his addictions.  One of the comments made by an attendee was that he/she “learned more about hope” from Mr. Tirado.

Several of the attendees when asked in the evaluation what they learned said that they needed to listen more carefully to their clients and allow spirituality to be a part of the recovery process.  When asked what changes they might make in their practice several said they now felt more comfortable in talking with their clients about spirituality.

For more information about the Spirituality Initiative, visit their website.


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