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“There’s a Hole in my Sidewalk”

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Autobiography in Five Short Chapters
by Portia Nelson

Chapter One
I walk down the street.
There is a deep hole in the sidewalk. I fall in.
I am lost . . . I am helpless.
It isn’t my fault . . .
It takes forever to find a way out.

Chapter Two
I walk down the same street.
There is a deep hole in the sidewalk.
I pretend I don’t see it.
I fall in again.
I can’t believe I am in this same place. But it isn’t my fault.
It still takes a long time to get out.

Chapter Three
I walk down the same street.
There is a deep hole in the sidewalk. I see it there.
I still fall . . . it’s a habit . . . but,
My eyes are open.
I know where I am.
It is my fault.
I get out immediately.

Chapter Four
I walk down the same street.
There is a deep hole in the sidewalk. I walk around it.

Chapter Five
I walk down another street. 

© Copyright 1993 Portia Nelson from the book “There’s a Hole in my Sidewalk”, Beyond Words Publishing, Hillsboro, Oregon. Used with permission.

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A Life In The Community For Everyone – Part One

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At Procovery Insitute, we are so happy to be hearing increased discussion, and see long overdue focus, on Community Reintegration. This is so important for individuals, our communities and society as a whole. However, it is also imperative to realize that Community Reintegration is not always possible. It is sometimes entirely impossible – you cannot reintegrate if you have never been integrated in the first place. Many individuals have no vision of living in the community and do not even consider this a possibility, as they’ve never known it.

Many years ago I was facilitating a Procovery Circle as part of a cultural efficacy test of Procovery, in partnership with LACDMH and USC. That winter my mother knit hats for everyone in the Procovery Circle – knit beanies made with soft, colorful yarn that were handmade especially for this Circle. Most of the participants selected a hat at the end of the Circle and put it on right away, but one participant quietly folded his up very neatly, and put it in his pocket without ever putting it on. One of the other participants asked him why he wasn’t wearing his hat, which I was also wondering, and he replied “This hat would be a really good hat for a homeless person, so I’m saving it for when I’m homeless again.”  I asked him why he assumed he would be homeless again, and he replied that he was 41 years old and had only been homeless or institutionalized since he turned 18 years old. It was the only pattern of life that he knew and he couldn’t envision a future for himself where he was not homeless upon discharge.

​Merely living outside of an institution is NOT Community Integration or Reintegration. In order to be integrated in to the community, a community has to be available or one has to be created. It is devastating to learn how many individuals never learned HOW to live in a community or never had a community available to them. ​

It is important to add that what constitutes community is highly individual, we feel that community is about connection, not proximity. Simply being in the midst of others does not constitute community. It is sometimes easier to feel lonely and isolated when surrounded by people, than it is to feel this way when home alone.​

This subject always reminds us of the beautiful Starhawk quote below. What a beautiful way to imagine a community.

“We are all longing to go home to some place we have never been – a place half-remembered and half-envisioned we can only catch glimpses of from time to time. Community. Somewhere, there are people to whom we can speak with passion without having the words catch in our throats. Somewhere a circle of hands will open to receive us, eyes will light up as we enter, voices will celebrate with us whenever we come into our own power. Community means strength that joins our strength to do the work that needs to be done. Arms to hold us when we falter. A circle of healing. A circle of friends. Someplace where we can be free.” – Starhawk
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“The older I grow, the more do I love spring and spring flowers. Is it so with you?” – Emily Dickinson

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Happy Spring!

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“It is spring again. The earth is like a child that knows poems by heart.” – Rainer Maria Rilke

Happy Spring from Procovery Institute!

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Procovery Institute recently did a call for submissions for a LIFTING EACH OTHER UP blog post. We would like to support those individuals who are experiencing stress, anxiety and/or seasonal depression — these can be challenging any time of year, but around the holidays, when it is easy to feel that everyone around you is full of joy, these can be especially difficult and isolating.

We are appreciative of all of you who submitted quotes, prayers, excerpts from the Power of Procovery, etc. This is the first in an occasional series of blog posts with the intention of LIFTING EACH OTHER UP. The next blog in the series will be posted in January!

This blog post is inspired by a submission from Millie Fortune-Gilpin, a dedicated Procovery Circle Facilitator at BJC Behavioral Health in St. Louis MO. BJC has been a long time champion and supporter of Procovery and we are grateful to everyone at BJC, and all of the wonderful Procovery Circle members. They are the reason we do what we do. We are also extraordinarily appreciative that Millie is a member of our treasured community. Millie goes above and beyond to keep Procovery operating with fidelity at BJC and to help her Circle members find hope and create change.

Below are submissions from several of her Circle members:

Mary P’s motto: “Live, Love, Laugh Often. Life is Short!”

Mary P’s quote submission: “I have become a new person; and those who knew the old person laughed at me. The only man who behaved sensibly was my tailor.  He took my measure anew every time he saw me, while all the rest went on with their old measurements and expected me to fit.” –George Bernard Shaw (The Power of Procovery, Page 108) 

Procovery Institute adds– There are no rules as to whether change must be a roar or a whisper, whether it must be 1 step or 1 of 100 steps, or whether it takes a moment or a year. — The Power of Procovery, Page 108

Mary R’s quote: “Hope motivates me.”

Mary R’s contribution — What is Hope? ” …..the feeling that things might somehow work out”  – James Gordon, MD  (The Power of Procovery, Page 81)  

Barb R’s quote: “When you have to make a choice and don’t make it, that is in itself a choice.” –William James (The Power of Procovery, Page 102)

Michael W’s quote:  “I like Procovery because I meet new people.” 

Procovery Institute adds — It is so easy, often even more so this time of year, to lose sight of all of the beauty and joy and OPPORTUNITY for connection and happiness that surrounds us. We sometimes see only a giant TO DO list, comprised of more to do, than time to do it. And for some, seasonal or specifically holiday related depression is a constant challenge. WHAT CAN WE DO? We can remind ourselves of Michael W’s contribution and remember there are new people to meet, new things to do, new places to go, and new ways to do old things.

Until next time…

Procovery Institute

“Find out where joy resides, and give it a voice far beyond singing. For to miss the joy is to miss all.” — Robert Louis Stevenson

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As 2013 comes to a close…

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At Procovery Institute, we have been working very hard. While most of our work has been behind the scenes and therefore we have not had as much contact with you all as we prefer,as we near the end of 2013, we would like to take a moment to profoundly thank all of you for your continued and much appreciated support and commitment to Procovery!
We never anticipated our internal planning process being as complicated, challenging or extensive it has been. But, as a result, we’ve created a strong foundation and implementation structure to ensure a seamless, integrated systematic implementation of Procovery.  We’ve also created associated standards, measures and controls, which ensure fidelity as well as continued evolution of the program. And, as you all know, with regard to Procovery, doing it right (i.e. fidelity) equals strong outcomes (i.e. quality)!
In addition to our comprehensive internal strategic planning, and development process this year, Procovery Institute is also pleased to have been able to—

Continue to provide licensing support to Procovery Facilitators and Circles across the state of MO, by offering our first ever TWO YEAR (July 1, 2013-June 30, 2015) licensing scholarship opportunity, through the Randy Stratt Building, Hope, Healing and Life Scholarship Fund.  These scholarships continue to support Procovery Circles initiated during the rural/urban pilot of Procovery with the truly inspiring and dedicated Facilitators trained and licensed by Procovery Institute. Click Here for link to an article outlining the implementation of Procovery in Missouri by Joseph Parks, MD, in Behavioral Healthcare Magazine.  
Continue to provide licensing support to Los Angeles County Department of Mental Health, through South Bay Wellness Center, allowing the continuation of the wonderful Procovery Circle facilitated by Gary Gougis and Deanna King and supported by the wonderful Natasha Lewis-Mouton.  As Gary often updates us, “Procovery is alive and well at South Bay!” We love to hear this, and look forward to Procovery expanding across Los Angeles! Click here for a link to the Procovery iTunes channel – Click on podcast #23 for an interview with Gary Gougis and #17 for an interview with Natasha Lewis-Mouton!!
Continue to provide licensing support to Exodus Recovery in Los Angeles, and to Pollyanne Hornbeck, who was introduced to Procovery through Gary Gougis from South Bay MHC/South Bay Wellness Center. To watch a video clip of a conversation regarding Procovery reducing hospitalization and emergency room visits, click here. This video features Gary Gougis, Fred Lee, Natasha Lewis-Mouton, Dr. Israel Rubenstein, Deanna King and Pollyanne Hornbeck!
 Provide authorization for one time-use of one of Procovery Institute’s trademarks, Just Start Anywhere, Today®, to LACDMH, to serve as the theme for their 14th annual English Hope and Recovery Conference, Building Wellness, Just Start Anywhere, Today® in April 2013.
Provide presentation at LACDMH 14th annual English Hope and Recovery Conference, including the Just Start Anywhere® Interactive Exercise, which introduced our brand new Procovery Intention Cards™!
Provide a workshop at Los Angeles County Client Coalition 2nd annual Innovations in Recovery Conference – Developing Emotional Radar, Learning to Use Feelings as Fuel to Create the Life you Want by Kathleen Crowley with Catherine Bond. Catherine Bond is currently the Director of Empowerment and Advocacy for the County of Los Angeles Department of Mental Health. Click here for a link to the Procovery iTunes channel – Click on podcast #19 for an interview with Catherine Bond!
Provide authorization and support for Nancy Bollinger, Executive Director of Self Help Center in Affton, Missouri to present at the DBSA 2013 National Conference, in Miami, Florida. Nancy has served as a Licensed Procovery Facilitator since 2006 and was recognized by the Procovery Institute as a Procovery Pioneer in 2008. We are so deeply appreciative of Nancy for representing us at this conference, and for her dedication to the program for the better part of a decade! Click here for a link to the Procovery iTunes channel – Click on podcast #24 for an interview with Nancy Bollinger!
Lastly, we have successfully created a baseline and template for our new program, The Art of Moving Forward™. We plan to broaden this new, innovative (and exciting!!) program’s pilot and test plans in 2014!
We sincerely wish you a joyous end of 2013, and a beautiful beginning to 2014!
Warmest regards,
Procovery Institute
“And now we welcome the new year, full of things that have never been.”
-Rainer Maria Rilke

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Procovery Institute – Integrating Lessons Learned

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At Procovery Institute we are very much looking forward to the completion of our planning process and being in a position to broadly expand the Power that is Procovery. In the meantime, even though it may seem quiet on our end, please know that we are working intensely and integrating all lessons learned through the lengthy and intense testing and development process of Procovery. At the completion of our planning and development process, we will be uniquely positioned to address many of the current, truly overwhelming, challenges faced by both individuals as well as healthcare organizations, and we will be doing this while not only building hope and saving lives, but also saving dollars! We are in this exciting position because of all of the extraordinary, dedicated and inspiring individuals and agencies who joined our movement, whether for fifteen days, or for the fifteen years we have been developing Procovery. We have learned so much from all of you and one of the ways we are expressing our gratitude is to show you that we LISTENED. We listened to what you had to say at Procovery Institute Facilitator Meetings, Community-Building Events and in response to your Procovery Circle experiences, emails, phone calls, letters, etc. We are integrating lessons learned to assure that every Procovery Circle and every Procovery program operates with fidelity, so that we can both meet demand and provide rapid expansion.

Until next time…

Procovery Institute
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Part III – Procovery Evaluation

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“We have seen miracles realized as an expected outcome of our weekly Procovery Circles. It is difficult to believe that one program, working within the constraints of the current system, can offer and deliver so much.” -Dr. Amanda Luckett Murphy, Amanda Luckett Murphy Hopewell Center, St. Louis, MO 

We have been busy integrating the clips, video and feedback related to experiences and outcomes that have been provided to us by Procovery Circle Facilitators and other professionals and administrators for the final installment of our end-of-year reflections series. During this process we are finding ourselves in absolute awe of all of you and the extraordinary and unprecedented outcomes you have seen and are experiencing as a result of Procovery at your sites. We realized the the depth and breadth of material we have to share with you all is simply too much for an end of year communication (it’s almost too much for a book!) and because of this, we are posting and sending an alternate Part III in this series. Please look for a compilation in the future!

Jean Campbell, Ph.D.

Most important, it can be concluded from the evaluation of the Missouri Procovery Demonstration Program that Procovery is a promising catalyst of system transformation.
Dr. Jean Campbell, Principal Investigator, Missouri Procovery Demonstration Pilot, Missouri Institute of Mental Health, 2007

LaVonna Blair Lewis, Ph.D. 
Specific findings:
1. Procovery Circles are effective across racial, ethnic, and gender boundaries
2. Procovery Circle participants exhibit improved coping, communications, and socialization skills and increased self-efficacy.
3. Procovery Circles are perceived by institutions, in widely different settings, as being valuable to their clients and also to their staff and to their organizational objectives.

4. Procovery Circles are cost-effectively sustainable.
Dr. LaVonna Blair Lewis, Principal Investigator, University of Southern California School of Policy, Planning and Development, 2005

Donald Linhorst, Ph.D. and Michael Mancini, Ph.D.
98% felt that the Procovery program positively impacted treatment participation
94% felt that the Procovery program positively impacted decision making
97% felt that the Procovery program positively impacted motivation
96% felt that the Procovery program positively impacted problem solving
92% felt the Procovery Model has had a positive influence on their professional practice

Dr. Donald Linhorst and Dr. Michael Mancini, Principal Investigators, Phase I & II Missouri Procovery Project Facilitator Evaluation, Saint Louis University School of Social Work, 2007

Joseph Parks, Ph.D.
“In the course of implementing a recovery model in the Missouri Comprehensive Psychiatric System, we have identified certain components essential in our own recovery implementation. The Missouri Department of Mental Health decided to adopt a specific recovery model as foundational to service delivery and ultimately to system transformation. In 2005, the department selected the Procovery program developed by Kathleen Crowley as the recovery model for an urban-rural demonstration program in the St. Louis and Southeast Missouri regions.”

Please CLICK HERE to read the full article, Missouri’s Recovery Experience by Dr. Joseph Parks. This article originally appeared in the November 2007 issue of Behavioral Healthcare Magazine.

REMINDER: Procovery Institute is closing end of day today. We will be closed for the holidays and for extensive internal planning and development. Once Procovery Institute 2012 planning and development has been completed, you will be hearing from us. Until then, please know that our planning and development are to ensure a wildly successful next expansion! Thank you for your interest in, and support of, Procovery! You all make our work possible, and we plan to make you proud.

Today, we would like to leave you with a Procovery Video Snippet featuring Francie Broderick, Executive Director*, Places for People, St. Louis, MO:

Procovery – Part of a Larger Movement – Click Here to Watch Video!

We hope you celebrate a beautiful and joyous new year and we look forward to connecting with you all in 2012!

Until next time…

Procovery Institute

*Indicates title at time of filming.
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What Others Are Saying and Seeing – Part II Continued…

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We are continuing to revisit powerful words from individuals involved with Procovery – last week we brought you What Others Are Saying and Seeing Part II – feedback from Agency Administrators. Today, we invite you to please read on for Part II Continued… (more from Agency Administrators!)

“Of all the entertainment the NYAPRS Annual Conference has featured over the past 29 years, no group has so captured the hearts of our community as the Procovery & the Rise Up Revolution, a group of LA based musicians who shared their great sound, spirit and soul at last September’s annual conference. Several hundred conference attendees grooved and danced to every minute of the band’s terrific two hour show, moved especially by the personal message of hope and healing that comes through their performance.”
-Harvey Rosenthal, Executive Director, NYAPRS, Albany, NY

-Sinikka Santala, Division Director (Retired), Wisconsin Department of Health, Madison, WI (Link below)

“Procovery offers an integrated approach for dual diagnosis that also supports multi-cultural considerations, concurrent physical conditions, as well as the challenges of homelessness and legal histories.”
-Marvin J. Southard, D.S.W., Director, County of Los Angeles Department of Mental Health, Los Angeles, CA 

“BJC Behavioral Healthcare played both an integral role in bringing Procovery to MO, and in sustaining the program in MO, during very challenging fiscal times. I highly recommend the Procovery program along with their engaging, professional and inspirational MUSIC HEALS events to anyone looking for innovative programming that delivers unprecedented outcomes. Procovery saves lives and dollars, and should be an integral component of all healthcare reform efforts. “
-Mark Stansberry, Executive Director, BJC Behavioral Health, St. Louis, Missouri

“Procovery has been at the forefront of Missouri’s effort to transform its mental health services to a consumer centric system that lives its values of consumer empowerment and person centered, self-directed care. The Procovery Institute has been an invaluable partner, bringing a vision, commitment, and spectrum of tools and resources to that effort that speak to consumers’ wishes to reclaim and reestablish new and vital lives for themselves. MUSIC HEALS is the latest such tool and is eagerly awaited in Missouri.”
-Felix Vincenz, Ph.D., Chief Operating Officer, Division of Psychiatric Services – Missouri Department of Health and Mental Health, Columbia, MO 

-Cathy Warner, L.C.S.W., Deputy Director, Adult Systems of Care, County of Los Angeles Department of Mental Health, Los Angeles, CA (Link below)

-Joe Yancey, Community Services Director*, MO DMH CPS Division, St. Louis, MO and Dora Cole, Director Community Service Operations*, MO DMH CPS Division, Poplar Bluff, MO (Links below)

Please stay tuned for words from Staff Facilitators, coming soon!

Until next time…

Procovery Institute

* Indicates title at time of filming.

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What Others Are Saying and Seeing – Part II

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As we indicated last week, we are revisiting powerful words from individuals involved with Procovery. Last week we brought you feedback from inspiring individuals with lived experience and expertise. This week we are pleased to bring you Part II with words from Agency Administrators:

“Procovery has been an integral component of Self Help Center programming since its beginning in Missouri. Procovery is a program that achieves real change through accountability, inspiration, and support. Procovery’s tools, technology, and collaborative opportunities allow for us to create meaningful change, together. Procovery Institute’s MUSIC HEALS events are a wonderful and inspiring addition to an already engaging, innovative, and comprehensive program that brings hope into the lives of individuals in need. “

– Nancy Bollinger, CMPS, Executive Director, Self Help Center, St. Louis, Missouri

“Healthcare reform needs to be about much more than an improvement in fiscal management — we need to fundamentally change the way we do business. I have never seen a more effective or transformational program. Procovery’s ability to engage and inspire, as well as to provide direction and tools to community agencies who are often working hard to remain cutting edge, while struggling simply to survive, is something the entire nation should stand up and pay attention to. Procovery has the power and the ability to transform not only lives, but agencies and organizations and Procovery Institute’s MUSIC HEALS events lift people up, inspire and engage them AND remind them why they chose to do this work in the first place!”

-Dora Cole, Director Community Service Operations, MO DMH CPS Division (Retired), Poplar Bluff, MO

“Procovery Institute’s implementation structure drives the building of communities, partnerships and collaborations more effectively than anything I have ever seen. I can not recommend Procovery or the newest program component, MUSIC HEALS, highly enough. “

-William Flynn, MD

“NAMI SW MO was an early, and remains an ongoing, supporter of Procovery in Missouri. We have had many cross-state trips to Procovery trainings, monthly meetings and events over the years and were able to see the program and the events evolve and grow. Procovery Institute’s MUSIC HEALS events are like everything else related to Procovery — inspiring, enjoyable, innovative, entertaining and professional. The Procovery program and MUSIC HEALS events are vital and powerful programs that can propel us forward, not just in our own healing or the healing of others, but in life!”

-Lisa Goin, Director of The Hope Center, NAMI SWMO, Springfield, MO

“Procovery provides a vehicle to lift not just the conversation about healthcare reform to the level it needs to be, but a proven and practical vehicle to lift the level of care we provide to where it should be.”

-Lee Jones, MD, Director of Academic Services, UC Davis School of Medicine, Davis, CA

“Procovery Institute should be a guiding force in current health care reform efforts. As a direct result of Procovery at the Amanda Luckett Murphy Hopewell Center in St. Louis, we have seen miracles realized as an expected outcome of our weekly Procovery Circles. It is difficult to believe that one program, working within the constraints of the current system, can offer and deliver so much, yet a listing of some of the outcomes we have seen would include–

· Reduction in hospitalization

· Reduction in clinical mental health service use

· Reduction in substance use and abuse

· Increased access to care

· Improvement in coordination of care

· Improvement in customer satisfaction

· Improvement in integration of co-occuring diagnoses (i.e. mental, physical, addiction, trauma)

· Increase in personal motivation

· Increase in satisfaction with purpose/hope in personal life

· Improvement in quality of life

· Improvement in personal relationships

· Increase in movement to independent housing situation

· Increase in movement to employment

· Increase in movement to volunteer activity

· Increase in interest in leading ITP (Individual Treatment Plan)

· Increase in literacy

· Improvement in medication management

· Improvement in self care

· Improvement in problem solving skills

· Improvement in communication skills

· Improvement in self advocacy skills

· Reduction in internal stigma

Procovery is proven, innovative, sustainable and inspiring for those receiving care and those delivering it.”

-Dr. Amanda Luckett Murphy, Amanda Luckett Murphy Hopewell Center, St. Louis, MO

“What strikes me about Procovery is it’s steadfast focus on the future and how people need to take responsibility for their own wellness. As such, Procovery I think, has the potential to be a major force in the healthcare reform efforts of people with severe and persistent mental illnesses and the providers who serve them. We’re all looking for a way to encourage people to make changes in their lives and I think Procovery is one of the best tools available to actually do that.”

-Dave Pilon, Ph.D., President and CEO, Mental Health America of Los Angeles, Los Angeles, CA

Please stay tuned for next week’s Part III with words from Staff Facilitators! We hope you are all enjoying the week and staying warm!

Until next time…

Procovery Institute