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Emerging Best Practices in
Mental Health Recovery

Overview & Guide to Booklet


This page provides a brief overview of the Emerging Best Practices and a guide on how to use the Best Practices tool.  This page provides only  a summary.  To obtain information on how to receive extensive training on the Emerging Best Practices for your organization or Board area, please contact the Ohio Department of Mental Health Office of Consumer Services (614-466-0236).

I.  Overview of the Emerging Best Practices:

This approach involves the use of nine essential recovery components, three domains and four stages of recovery:


Essential Components for Consumer Recovery

Clinical Care


Peer Support & Relationships


Family Support


Work/Meaningful Activity


Power & Control




Community Involvement


Access to Resources




Three Domains

Consumer Status:  
This is the consumer's current status  or status goal as identified by the consumer.


Clinicians' Role:  
These are the clinicians' roles and best practices for consumers who are at this stage in recovery.


Community Supports' Role:  
As with the clinician domain, these are the community supports' role and best practices for a consumer at this stage in their recovery process.


Four Stages of Recovery

Consumer relies on others and is not aware of his/her own status and needs.


Consumer relies on others but is aware of his/her own status and needs.


Consumer relies on self and is aware of his/her own status and needs.


Consumer relies on self and others in a mutual exchange of beneficial support, services and resources.


horizontal rule

II.  Guide to Best Practices Book (instructions):

The goal with this approach is for clinicians and/or consumers to engage consumers in the recovery process.  Below is a brief set of guidelines for how to use the booklet.  As with all recovery activities, this is a process driven by the consumer and facilitated by the clinician.

  1. Orient the Consumer:
    This involves sharing general information about recovery with the consumer and then exposing them to the Best Practices approach and the particular activity in which you will engage.

  1. Selecting Best Practices:
    This involves four activities for the clinician and consumer to work through.

  1. Rank recovery components:

Review component definitions.

Rank order the components; both the consumer and clinician separately rank the components from 1 to 9 based on what they believe is the most important (1) and least important (9) topic for the consumer to work on at the present time.

The clinician and consumer discuss their lists and then choose one to three priority components for which to set goals.

  1. Identify Current Status:

On the gray side of the book (first table on each component page), the consumer reviews the "consumer status" descriptions for their selected priority components for each of the four stages (dependent/unaware...interdependent/aware) and indicates which status best describes their current situation.

Once the consumer identifies the status that best describes them, he/she then selects the descriptors within that status that reflect their situation for each priority component.  Not all characteristics within a given status will apply to the consumer.

  1. Select Status Goal:

The consumer next decides whether his/her goal is to strengthen their current status or progress to the next stage of recovery.  This decision is based on factors such as Motivation (how motivated the consumer is), Urgency (how urgent the need for progress is), Support (consumer's perceived support network) and Ease (how difficult the component is for the consumer to work on).

At this point, you move to the purple side of the Best Practices book (second table on each component page).


If the goal is to strengthen the current status, you go to the purple side of 
the previous status.  For example, if a consumer identifies their status as 
being dependent/aware, you would go the the purple side of 
dependent/unaware to select best practices.

Note: Consumers at the dependent/unaware status would use the Best Practices for that status since there is no previous status.


If the goal is to progress, go to the Best Practices (purple side) for the 
same status.

Note: Consumers at the Interdependent/Aware status are continuously strengthening since there are no further status levels.

  1. Select Best Practices:

The Consumer reviews the Best Practices descriptors and chooses the ones they would like to establish goals around.

At this point, you should also document the corresponding clinician and community support Best Practices/Roles.

  1. Supporting Consumer Action:
    This involves helping the consumer identify specific goals and identify if they will need assistance achieving these goals.  This process involves the following two steps.

  1. The consumer modifies the selected Best Practices from B above to develop personal goals.  These goals should be written in a manner that is observable and measurable.

For example, one of the best practices for the Clinical Care component at the dependent/aware status is "attends and participates in self-help group meetings."  The consumer may create the goal of attending a bipolar support group meeting twice a month, and speak at least twice at each meeting.  By identifying the specific number of meetings and times the consumer will participate, the consumer and clinician can monitor progress.

  1. Explore consumer preference for support in reaching these goals for each identified Best Practice.  For some goals, the consumer may not want/need support; for other goals, they may desire/need support.

If the consumer prefers support, help them identify who will fulfill what roles to help the consumer meet his/her goal.


For example, the goal is to talk to friends and family when discouraged.
The "who" might be the clinician and consumer and the "what" might be
to practice the skill of requesting assistance and developing a list of 
personal cues to ask for input from family and others.

If the consumer does not need support, the "who" is the consumer and the "what" can be pulled from the consumer's personalized best practice.


For example, from the bipolar support group example, the "what" would
be to attend at least two meetings/month and speak at least twice per

  1. Linking to Credible Supports:

If the consumer desires/needs support from the community (individual or organization) to achieve their goal, the next step is to help the consumer get linked to credible supports.  This would involve the following process:

  1. Brainstorm with the consumer to develop a list of potential community supports.

  1. Assist the consumer in determining if the identified community supports would be willing and able to provide the needed support.

  1. Identify a strategy to use to elicit support from the chosen individual or community organization.  For example, highlighting consumer strengths, point out to the individual/organization the benefit of providing support and how the consumer can benefit them.

  1. As was done above (supporting consumer action), identify the "who" and "what" for the selected best practice.

  1. Formulate the Recovery Management Plan:
    In short, this is the combination of all the steps above.  It's the process of putting the information collected in A-D above on paper and identifying timelines for each of the goals.  Below is an example of a completed Recovery Management Plan.

Status Goal
bulletComponent: Family Support
bulletCurrent Status: Independent/Aware Status
bulletStatus Goal: Progress to Interdependent/Aware Status

Best Practices

Action Steps

Start Date

Completion Date


Asks parents and close friends to talk over problems when feeling discouraged about the future.

Who: Consumer & Clinician
What: Practice skill of requesting assistance and develop list of personal cues to ask for input from family and others.
When: Tuesday at 3:00 PM
How Long: 1 hour
How Many: 3 sessions
Where: Second Harvest Social Club



Writes letters to legislators to encourage "pro-mental health consumer" votes.

Who: Consumer
What: Ask consumer group to be informed of upcoming legislation.
When: N/A
How Long: N/A
How Many: N/A
Where: N/A


Open ended


Re-evaluates with consumer her/his Recovery Management Plan with respect to family/significant others involvement and establishes next steps.

Who: Consumer & Clinician
What: Discuss progress with asking family for assistance and identify new goal and best practices if needed. Meet with family if needed.
When: Tuesday at 3:00 PM
How Long: 1 hour
How Many: 6 sessions
Where: Clinician’s Office



Community Support

Conducts dialogues that focus on importance of establishing collaborative relationships that result in effective dissemination of educational materials focused on family involvement in the recovery process.

Who: Social Club President
What: Conduct a forum on "Recovery and the Family" as part of Guest Night Program.
When: Tuesday at 7:00 PM
How Long: 1 hour
How Many: 6 Sessions
Where: Second Harvest Social Club

Who: Bridgeway House Residence Manager
What: Meet with consumer’s family to talk about how the family can be helpful in supporting consumer’s recovery.
When: Thursday at 6:00 PM
How Long: 1 hour
How Many: 1 – 3 Sessions
Where: Bridgeway House Conference Room














5/23/01 – 6/15/01

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