MHCC creates discussion guide on recovery-oriented services for youth

Posted on March 1st, 2018

The Mental Health Commission of Canada’s (MHCC) Youth Council has created a video and discussion guide to help service providers understand the needs of youth when it comes to recovery-oriented practice.

Released this February, Food for thought: A youth perspective on recovery-oriented practice breaks down what youth see as some of the core principles of recovery-oriented mental health and addiction services. Using the metaphor of a restaurant interaction between a server and a patron, it provides a light-hearted demonstration of the key concepts of recovery-oriented practice.

Recovery can be a difficult concept to grasp, admits Don Mahleka, a Youth Council member actively involved in developing the video.  It refers to living a satisfying, hopeful, and contributing life, even when a person may be experiencing ongoing symptoms of a mental health problem or illness.

Mahleka says the video speaks to the kind of considerations that young people would like to be extended. “Everybody can relate to restaurant service—being served hot sauce when you didn’t ask for it, or given food with a bug in it.”

In a recovery-oriented system, service providers engage in shared decision-making, offering a range of services and supports to fully meet a person’s goals and needs.

The vignettes in the video are likened to experiences of inadequate mental health service.

“The message young people are giving here is pretty clear,” says Louise Bradley, President and CEO of the MHCC. “Don’t order my meal, season it, tell me when I’m finished and invite me not to come back!”

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