“The older I grow, the more do I love spring and spring flowers. Is it so with you?” – Emily Dickinson

Happy Spring!

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

Happy Spring from Procovery Institute!


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

As 2013 comes to a close…

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

Procovery Institute – Integrating Lessons Learned

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

Part III – Procovery Evaluation

“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.

What Others Are Saying and Seeing – Part II Continued…

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.

What Others Are Saying and Seeing – Part II

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

Procovery – What Others Are Saying and Seeing

As we begin to wind down 2011 and gear up for 2012, we thought we would take some time to revisit some of the feedback we have received over the last few years, as well as share with you some new feedback and some of the outcomes Procovery Circle Facilitators and participating agencies are experiencing. As such, over the next few weeks of December you will hear from some very powerful and inspiring individuals who have all dedicated their lives to making extraordinary things happen. Some are longtime Procovery Circle Facilitators experiencing profound outcomes with Procovery and some have seen what Procovery can do firsthand through personal experiences. We want their strong voices to be heard and therefore will be bringing them to you during the month of December.

This week we bring you a broad mix of individuals with profound lived experience and expertise:

  • Nancy Bollinger, Executive Director, Self Help Center, St. Louis, MO
  • Catherine Bond, Former Associate Director and Training Coordinator, Project Return Peer Support Network/Consultant, Los Angeles County Department of Mental Health, Los Angeles, CA
  • Angelica Garcia, Director of Center Programs, El Centrito de Apoyo/Senior Program Manager, Project Return Peer Support Network, Los Angeles, CA
  • Lisa Goin, Hope Center Director, NAMI SWMO, Springfield, MO
  • Gary Gougis, Community Support Worker, South Bay Wellness, Gardena, CA
  • Fred Lee, Community Integration Program Manager, Project Return Peer Support Network, Los Angeles, CA
  • Mickie McDowell, Certified Missouri Peer Specialist, Certified Recovery Educator, Springfield, MO
  • Keris Myrick, Executive Director, Project Return Peer Support Network, Los Angeles, CA
  • Susan Scott, Procovery Circle Facilitator, Ozark Medical Center, West Plains, MO

Read on below or click on the individual names to listen to the audio clip!

“Though I’ve worked in the consumer/mental health side of services for a decade now, it was not until I was involved with Procovery that I began to realize the effects of what we as consumers of mental health services can have on the systems. Those effects are just so profound. The Procovery Community Building Events helped me to realize that our voices are to be heard and respected. And as such, though it may have gotten me into trouble a time or two, I chose to stand up and have my voice heard with regard to the systems in place. Not only are these events community building but they are empowering. When the systems knock us down, we have a right to have our voices heard and stand back up. When our voices are ignored, we have a right to stand up and shout. We deserve representation to help to mold the system into a functional and compatible system that is well adjusted to our needs and sensitive to our dreams and aspirations of recovery. The Power of Procovery, each component of Procovery, the book, cards, music, people, it is all empowering. It is coming together as a community that has helped us to do more than ever expected.”

“I believe [Procovery] can play a very instrumental role. My perspective on this is that there’s a great value in Procovery offering things that family members and professionals can bring to the process. Because what I’ve learned from the early days in Los Angeles, is that when professionals have their own Procovery Circles, or are involved in Procovery Circles, their perspective on recovery helps them to understand how people like me can help heal themselves and can help one another heal. And it’s so enlightening for people who haven’t ever looked at that before. So I like the fact that she includes the family members and professionals and I also like the fact that the people that participate in Procovery Circles get better. And it’s as simple as that.”

“I would love to see the Department of Mental Health say, ‘We’re gonna fund it. That it’s a valuable tool and that it’s a wonderful model and that it can really work. This is something that leads people to greater empowerment, to greater wellness, to less shame. This is a wonderful way for people to heal and grow and we’re gonna fund the process of learning how to do Procovery Circles and help people learn how to become Procovery Circle Facilitators and go forth and spread the word!’”

“I would like to see [Procovery] boom. And I would definitely love to see it be used in every aspect of the mental health system. Whether it be the clients, the providers, people using it at work. The material is so strong and uplifting, I think anybody can use it. You don’t have to be a consumer or identify yourself as a consumer. It can apply to anyone.”

“Procovery offers me validation. It helps me to believe in myself and personal empowerment. It seems like I’m constantly quoting something out of the book or one of the cards because they ring so true for me. Four years ago I was diagnosed with Hodgkin’s Lymphoma and it was during this time that Procovery was introduced to me. It seemed that from the first time I opened the book it was written for me to aid me in that difficult time. I just felt like it was just for me. I took the book with me everywhere. I read it repeatedly taking it into my chemo treatments where I would be for four hours at a time. I read it the whole time I was recouping from surgery. It was just there for me the whole time and it just rings so true. And that’s when my first impact with Procovery really began.”

“The thing I enjoy, too, is the healing effect of it. It’s transformed into the community and to healthcare in particular because a lot of our members say that they haven’t been back to the emergency rooms, or to the hospitals. But they actually state that, ‘I haven’t had an emergency room visit in 2 years’ or ‘I haven’t since I’ve been coming to Procovery.’ And you know, that effect alone… right there. And you see, I can be a witness to that because I know they haven’t. On a weekly basis, the ones who come every two weeks instead of every week, their life is doing more. When you hear someone say, you know if we have 15 people in the room and one person says, ‘You know, I haven’t been back to the hospital,’ and then the hands start going up and, ‘And neither have I.’ , ‘And neither have I.’  That’s speaking to me in a very loud volume. It’s speaking to the effect that it has in a long term view. Especially with the cost of healthcare and everything and how this can directly impact the cost because of the way things are. When I look at that, I say, man that’s a real benefit of the bargain. They’re so confident about it. ‘Now I’ve got some stuff to work with. And the support, I know what to do now because I know where my support is.  And I know I can make a phone call, to maybe even a Procovery Circle member that I know, because we’ve engaged in a social thing. And I may not have to go rush back to the emergency room.’ And just being that, it’s care taking in a different sense. It’s self care at it’s best.”

“More than anything it has given the consumers and the participants because I have not only just consumers I have family members, who are supporting someone in the family, they come also. I’ve seen hope come alive where there was none. I’ve seen heads that were down that were uplifted. And it also leads to people participating in life again along with their family and their friends. And from my Procovery Circle, the Procovery Circle at South Bay, it has extended into our community and it’s been a platform for an active life for a lot of people who were very inactive. It’s just ongoing. Procovery is just growing and growing and growing. People keep feeling better. Doing better and restarting a new life instead of trying to go back to the old life.” 

“Well a powerful role… For one thing it can shorten the length of recovery because of the things you learn. You learn you’re not your diagnosis. You learn to focus forward. And it really emphasizes being person centered. The quotes really help you think, too. All that kind of blends into the Program. It kind of opens up your mind, the quotes,and the ideas and the book and the ideas of Procovery really open you up to the freedom of a life moving forward.  It helps you clarify where you’re at and where you want to go. It helps you expand on your dreams or even give dreams a birth… give them a place to start. Like it says in the literature, instead of looking backwards to recovery, you know, in my case, there’s nothing to look back to hardly except a lot of trauma and strife from a young age.  So some people might have had more of a life and there’s more to look back to but in my case and a lot of other people’s cases, troubles started early. So there’s really no ‘stable’ place to look back to. There was never a level where I was functioning in a happy manner. There were periods of time in my life, but there wasn’t a holistic time in my life. Procovery helped develop that again through the different aspects of life. It helped me think about what was I doing… it helped me get back to school. It helped me have fun. It helped me focus on work in a more conscious way. It just opened me up. It just really opened me up. So that’s the role that it can take in mental health transformation. It certainly transformed me. “

Mickie McDowell – Difference Between Procovery and Other Groups
Procovery is very different. Procovery is about wellness. For the most part the other groups that I’ve facilitated have all focused on illness. You walk in a lot of the groups that I’ve facilitated do a wellness scale. You know, when you do introductions, ‘On a scale of 1 to 10, how are you doing today?’  A lot of times you can walk in an 8 and you can leave a 4 because there’s so much negativity and everyone talks about the negative stuff in their life. Procovery is just the opposite. In Procovery we don’t use that scale. People come to Procovery when they don’t want to leave their house because they know that they’re going to leave Procovery feeling better. And they do. You know every time they come, they get something positive out of it and it’s so uplifting it’s amazing.

“Well definitely Procovery has a holistic approach, which I think health care reform is all about…. Is meeting people’s whole health needs. And I think it’s going to be really, really important that as people with lived experience of mental health issues, as peer providers, as peer program providers and developers we all have to be at this table of health care reform and integration of health and mental health. Because it feels to me as if a lot of the conversation is being led by sort of the primary care community and I’m not so sure sometimes that they understand or are there yet with the peer support and the peer programs and things like Procovery. I’d hate it to be an add-on. I’d rather those things be an inclusive from the very beginning. So, I definitely think that it [Procovery] fits within health care reform. It fits within the integration of health and mental health, but we all need to make sure that it gets there at the very beginning of these conversations rather than, ‘Oops! Let’s add it on later.’”

“I’m just such a cheerleader for Procovery because it works. It’s a practical system that works on a day to day basis for regular ordinary people that come to the circle. I see it work every day. I see people understanding things they didn’t understand before the circle started. And I’m one of these people who is kind of results oriented. I believe in things that actually give results. And that’s the thing I love so much about Procovery is, it works.”

We will bring you more words, more voices, more powerful messages over the course of the weeks of December 12th and 19th and Procovery Institute will then be closed for our annual internal program planning and development through Tuesday, January 17th, 2011.

If you’re already a member of this beautiful Procovery community, THANK YOU for your love, support, hard work, patience and dedication. If you’re new to the Procovery community – WELCOME!

In the following two weeks you will hear from staff Facilitators and agency administrators, so we hope you will stay tuned! We hope you’re having a blessed and joyous holiday season!

Until next time…
Procovery Institute

Procovery and Healthcare Reform

“What strikes me about Procovery is its steadfast focus on the future and how people need to take responsibility for their own wellness. As such, I think Procovery 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

Procovery Institute is honored to be able to serve as a change agent, not only for profoundly inspiring Procovery Circle participants who consistently create changes that they, and nearly everyone around them, never thought they would or could make, but we are equally honored to serve as a change agent for providers, agencies and communities, also struggling amidst an ever changing sea of devastating cutbacks, increased demand and diminishing resources.

Joseph Parks, MD, in Behavioral Healthcare magazine outlines MO’s experience with an urban/rural implementation pilot of Procovery, and cites seven specific components essential to recovery programming – all of which he directly relates to Procovery components.*

The 7 essential components he identifies as essential to recovery programming.

· Specificity

· Application across diagnoses, including behavioral and physical

· Staff training

· Application across a spectrum of settings, cultures, and stakeholders

· Fidelity and accountability

· Complementary, not competitive, to existing services and programs.

· Change agent 

Dr. Parks addresses the need for “recovery implementation to have both the substance and form to serve as a change agent to lead agencies, providers, and stakeholders to do business differently.”

Dr. Parks attributes Procovery with the ability to serve as a change agent and quotes Peter M. Senge “[often] new insights fail to get put into practice because they conflict with deeply held internal images of how the world works, images that limit us to familiar ways of thinking and acting.” 

Procovery Institute has been studying change for over fifteen years and one of the things we observe time and again is how times of extreme challenge and crisis can serve as catalysts and, in essence, springboard individuals, agencies and communities to change.

Procovery Institute is currently finalizing planning and assessment for our next phased expansion.

Until next time…

Procovery Institute

*Click here to find this article on amazon!