Integrative Mental Health Systems:
A Vision for Bringing Recovery to Community Life
Integrative Mental Health Systems, NFP is organized to bring recovery to community life. Integrative functions to enhance public policy through participative research and development, increase awareness among the community-at-large through public education, support the institutional advancement of service organizations through fund development and strategic planning initiatives, provide a network for the support and advancement of providers through membership services; and, to provide a vehicle option for the provision of innovative, evidence-based, integrated total wellness services for prevention, recovery and advocacy to the public through cooperative provision.
We believe that social change evolves simultaneously from the bottom up, from the top down and from the middle outward. It is an integrative process in which institutions, the organizations that serve those institutions, the people that serve those organizations; and, the individuals who consume said services, desire change because they come to find it in their best interest. In as much social evolution is an integrative movement seeking to find its own balance in the wholeness of itself toward the advancement of life’s quality for all. In order for societies to evolve, persons must evolve from within through understanding.
Healthy People 2002 defines health literacy as the “degree to which individuals have the capacity to obtain, process and understand basic health information and services needed to make appropriate health decisions” (U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, 2002)
It is predicted that Health Care will assume the number one position among industries by the close of this decade. One may deduce from the trends that America’s health is deteriorating, but the facts indicate the fallacy of this deduction. The wellness of Americans is improving as people become increasingly aware of ways they can take an active part in their own healing and maintaining their own health. We are adopting the goal of awakening our inner healer, as we become increasingly intimate with the healer within.
As a major industry, Health Care impacts the very core of society through the economy. Health issues are among the top concerns of industrial giants as they endeavor to become increasingly efficient and effective in production, performance and profit. The bottom line is that workers must be able to work. There are ten leading causes of disability in the world, all of which are caused by social dis-ease, physiological disease or a complexity of combinations thereof stemming from broken peace, the foundation of mental illness.
According to The Global Burden of Disease, also known as the Disability–Adjusted Life Years Studies (DALY’S) among people in the prime of life, mental illness costs society more than any other form of disease. Depression costs society more than any other disease, and four mental illnesses are in the top ten. Unipolar and bipolar depression combined cost the world 56,161 in DALY’s, a composite measure of time lost to premature mortality and time lived with disability. This is nearly three times the second leading cause of disability in the world, tuberculosis. Self-inflicted injuries fall squarely in the middle of these figures. Road traffic accidents are third among the ten. War and violence rank seven and eight. Depression, however, is number one. People between the ages of 15 and 44 are loosing millions of years of potentially productive life due to mental illness alone.
Nancy Andreasen, M.D., Ph.D. stated provocatively in the Brave New Brain (2001) “What we fear most is not being paralyzed in an accident or even sudden death by heart attack, although either would be cruel. We fear loosing our minds.”
Self actualization is considered to be the highest level of need for human kind. The journey to authenticity is often blocked by a lack of understanding that the personal is at once political, institutional, and organizational depending upon the location of the individual in the moment. The personal is all these things because of the oneness of human kind and the nature of social organization. It all comes down to what is in the mind of each person and the ways those minds are integrated into a social system. The Integrative mission, bringing recovery to community life, involves a change in mindset; it is a vision for the enhancement of our mental health systems that will lead to an advancement of a humanity that is free of the impediments formed within.
Recovery is a return to the balance of Mind, Body and Spirit that leads to a state of equilibrium. SAMSAH Administrator Charles Cure said, “Recovery must be the common, recognized outcome of the services we support”. At Integrative our vision is for individuals to work through a particular and accurate diagnosis, engaged in specific phases of an integrated personalized Recovery Process until their balance is fully restored and they are returned to their communities as productive citizens. Our approach integrates professional service providers and consumers with various rehabilitation modalities through vertical and horizontal community alliances.
Current research indicates that the involvement of patients as consumers in their own recovery enhances their attitude, motivation and thought processes in ways that advance the healing process. We engage consumers in the process of their own recovery, empowering them to not only participate but play an active role in their own education, facilitation and implementation of the various rehabilitation options offered toward true consumer advancement.
In conjunction with traditional and alternative provision through our partner providers, we will offer recovery & engagement services, recovery counseling services (individual & group), illness management education and support services, Wellness Recovery Action Planning, Supported Employment services, consumer advocacy; social systems navigation, financial literacy programs, and wellness education programs (i.e., health literacy) to consumers in transition to wellness. In alignment with community mental health agencies, clinics, hospitals and practices in varying target-population settings we will help consumers integrate and navigate life systems toward full re-entry into community life. We ease the fear of mental illness by providing an option for recovery.
The Integrative vision has evolved through years of personal experience and work in the field and has recently expanded to Atlanta, Georgia to birth a profit arm known as Integrative Recovery Systems of Atlanta (Integrative ATL). We practice an innovative, cooperative, well rounded, comprehensive, recovery-oriented approach to the support of mental health consumers and providers to meet the increasing internal and external demands of a transforming system. We work interactively to reintegrate consumers into meaningful productivity, to assist providers with the state of transition in industry; and to evolve recovery-based policy and strategy for organizational development and transition. You are a beautiful thought in the mind of God and I’m glad you’re in my head!
Yours in Service, Avril L'Mour Weathers, PhD Founder/Executive Director Integrative Mental Health Systems, MHOA Thought in the Mind of GodMiraculous Recovery! Healing Where it HurtsFollow the Art of Allowing