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The Illness Management and Recovery Program consists of a series of weekly sessions in which mental health practitioners help people who have experienced psychiatric symptoms develop personal strategies for coping with mental illness and moving forward in their lives. The program can be provided in individual or group formats and generally lasts between 3 to 6 months.

With the permission of the person who has experienced psychiatric symptoms, family members and other supporters may be asked to read the educational handouts, attend some sessions, and help the person develop and implement plans for coping with symptoms, reducing relapses, and pursuing recovery goals.

How do practitioners benefit from the Illness Management and Recovery Program?

Practitioners benefit by:

  • Learning a comprehensive, step-by-step approach to helping people gain skills in managing mental illness.
  • Saving time by receiving ready-to-use materials for conducting sessions.
  • Gaining skills in using motivational strategies, cognitive behavioral strategies, and educational strategies.
  • Experiencing increased job satisfaction from seeing improved outcomes, such as people reducing relapses and hospitalizations and making progress in their goals for recovery.

How does the program compare to what is currently offered at community mental health centers?

This program pulls together the main components of effective illness management programs and provides a comprehensive, structured, step-by-step approach. It provides materials that have a recovery orientation and are user friendly both for practitioners and for persons who have experienced psychiatric symptoms. The program also heavily emphasizes helping people put knowledge into practice in their every day life.

What will people learn in the Illness Management and Recovery Program?

The following subjects are covered in educational handouts:

  • Recovery Strategies
  • Practical Facts About Mental Illness
  • The Stress-Vulnerability Model and Treatment Strategies
  • Building Social Support
  • Using Medication Effectively
  • Drug and Alcohol Use
  • Reducing Relapses
  • Coping with Stress
  • Coping with Problems and Symptoms
  • Getting Your Needs Met in the Mental Health System
  • Healthy Lifestyles

What resource materials do practitioners receive as part of the Illness Management and Recovery Program?

  • A Practitioners' Guide, with practical tips for teaching people about mental illness and helping them develop strategies for each of the 9 topic areas.
  • Educational handouts, checklists, and planning sheets for each of the 9 topic areas.
  • A short introductory video.
  • Informational brochures.
  • A fidelity scale to measure whether the program is being implemented as designed.
  • Outcome measures to assess whether the program is having a positive impact on participants.
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New Hampshire Department of Health and Human Services
129 Pleasant Street | Concord, NH | 03301-3852

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