At the heart of wellness management and recovery is hope; if consumers do not feel as though the team believes in their full potential, it will be difficult to serve as a catalyst for change.

 

Wellness Management and Recovery (WMR) interventions should be offered to all individuals receiving Assertive Community Treatment (ACT) as part of their core treatment. There are manualized applications of WMR, such as illness management and recovery (IMR), also sometimes referred to as wellness management and recovery curriculum, wellness recovery action plans (WRAP), and facilitation of psychiatric advance directives. All team members are ideally adept at specific wellness interventions, as well, including psycho-education about mental illness and the stress-vulnerability model, building social support, recognizing signs of decompensation and heading off crises, coaching to help clarify treatment preferences, coping with stress, symptom management, and getting needs met within the mental health system and community.

Leading the effort to deliver WMR is a trained peer support specialist on the team. A recovery-oriented peer specialist inspires hope, and also is very sensitive to others own situations (empathy) and tuned in to what others are really wanting for themselves (person-centeredness). In turn, peer specialists can also continue to shape the team’s own focus on recovery through advocacy. Optimally, peer specialists learn how to effectively straddle their role as a fellow team member, but also as a peer to those the team is serving. Peers come from a wide range of backgrounds and lived experiences – to effectively operate as a peer with individuals receiving ACT, it would be expected that the ACT peer specialist are on his or her own path of recovery and has/had symptom challenges similar to those receiving ACT services and significant life experiences, such as incarceration, homelessness, hospitalization, taking psychiatric medications, and/or general experiences of hopelessness and helplessness that comes secondary to having a mental illness).

Learn More about the Wellness Management Services and the Role of the ACT Peer Support Specialist through these resources.