Right Here Right Now

An attendee stated that in Australia 85 percent of individuals diagnosed with schizophrenia recover.

That country also if memory serves was where Mental Health First Aid was first created and used by the public to help identify people with emotional illnesses and try to help them right away. This did make a difference.

Easily five years ago at HealthCentral I wrote in detail about Mental Health First Aid. This is nothing new. People can get trained in this service in the U.S. too.

I’m not a parrot in a suit. More likely I’m not “crowing” about how only 15 percent of the people with schizophrenia in the U.S. recover. Those so-called experts who regurgitate this myth pick and choose the research that proves their point. Long-term studies have indicated that upwards of 60 to 75 percent of individuals recover.

The topic of the educational conference was “Redefining Recovery.” It’s time right here right now to “act as if” a person can recover instead of perpetuating the myth that no one can recover.

In this way I stand out in my contention that giving people in recovery dignity is where it’s at.

I urge mothers and fathers to get a pen and paper and try to write down at least 20 things that are positive about your son or daughter. Sometimes getting out of bed is a victory–and this was talked about at HealthCentral easily five or six years ago too.

I was in the vanguard in what I wrote and talked about at HealthCentral. I will continue in this vein here because I believe in my vision that people can recover.

Continuing to think that recovery is one-size-fits-all is a mistake. Continuing to think that no one can recover is a mistake. Continuing to judge others as not having recovered because their recovery doesn’t look like mine or yours or another person’s is a mistake.

I’m confident when I tell you that what I valued at the educational conference was the takeaway that there is hope and healing for individuals diagnosed with schizophrenia bipolar and other mental illnesses.

Today recovery is not a distant dream. For more people than ever if we get individualized treatment immediately we can and do recover.

Recovery then not only is possible it becomes probable.

The naysayers have a lot invested in maintaining the status quo because that is what they base their “expert” status on.

I’d rather not be considered an expert in this regard. I consider myself to be a peer who is a mental health activist because I champion recovery for everyone and I think recovery is possible.

This is The Way I See It. And you can put this on a Starbucks cup: recovery is possible.

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Author: Chris Bruni

Christina Bruni is the author of the critically acclaimed memoir Left of the Dial. She owns a resume writing and career help business. She contributed a chapter "Recovery is Within Reach" to Benessere Psicologico: Contemporary Thought on Italian American Mental Health. As well as an author and activist, Bruni is an artist and a fitness buff.

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