Mental Health
Jul 16, 2024

A Fresh Perspective on Mental Health Recovery

At Drop of Life, we believe the path to recovery from mental health challenges is a transformative journey rather than a fixed destination. It's about reclaiming one’s life and thriving, even whilst navigating the complexities of a mental health condition. In this blog post, we will delve into the power of the recovery framework, shed light on psychosocial conditions, and explore how embracing a positive perspective can lead to growth and personal fulfilment.

The global recognition and acceptance of the recovery approach to mental health are reshaping the narrative around it. Unlike traditional models focusing solely on symptoms, the recovery framework places the person at the centre, highlighting their unique strengths, resilience, and hope. It acknowledges that individuals are not defined by their conditions but have the potential to grow, take control of their lives, and find fulfilment.

Rather than labelling mental health challenges as lifelong disabilities, the recovery model recognises them as episodic conditions that can be effectively managed. It affirms that individuals can regain control, reconnect with their authentic selves, and reintegrate into society in a way that is meaningful to them.

This fresh perspective reduces stigma and fosters a more inclusive and supportive environment. By reframing mental health conditions as experiences that can be understood and overcome, the recovery model empowers individuals to take control of their healing journey.

The Episodic Nature of Psychosocial Conditions

Psychosocial conditions encompass a range of mental health challenges, such as Bipolar Disorder, Schizophrenia, Borderline Personality Disorder (BPD), Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder (OCD), Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD), anxiety, and depressive disorders. These conditions are characterised by episodes of varying intensity and duration.

The recovery model is particularly well-suited to address these episodic conditions. It acknowledges that individuals may experience periods of stability and well-being alongside episodes of difficulty. Instead of solely focusing on the challenges, the recovery model emphasises the strength, resilience, unique capabilities and personal resources of the individual.

By reframing psychosocial conditions as part of an individual's journey rather than a permanent disability, the recovery model reduces the stigmatisation often associated with mental health challenges. It promotes understanding, empathy, and support, acknowledging that individuals are whole beings with valuable contributions to share.

The Role of the NDIS

For individuals facing psychosocial conditions that pose unique barriers, accessing support from the National Disability Insurance Scheme (NDIS) can be a valuable option. The NDIS can provide assistance to individuals whose conditions restrict their ability to function in certain environments, concentrate, complete tasks, interact with others, understand feedback, and manage stress.

To be eligible for NDIS support, individuals must demonstrate that their disability is likely to be permanent, that it significantly impacts their daily life and community participation and requires ongoing support. Meeting age and residency requirements and providing supporting evidence are also necessary.

Supporting Daily Living and Functionality

Eligibility for NDIS support is not based on a specific mental health diagnosis but rather on how the condition impacts an individual's daily life. Difficulties in areas such as: communication, social interaction, learning, mobility, self-care, and self-management, are considered criteria for determining eligibility.

The NDIS offers a range of supports in these areas to help individuals perform tasks and enhance their well-being. Examples of NDIS supports include funding for therapies such as recovery coaching, psychology, counselling, and psychiatry, transportation assistance to medical appointments and support groups, training for independent travel, goal-setting and budgeting support, self-care assistance, community integration, help with daily chores, access to government services, and assistance with finding suitable accommodations.

Support Coordination, Recovery Coaching & Support Groups

At Drop of Life, we understand the unique challenges faced by individuals with psychosocial disabilities, which is why our support coordination services are designed to help these participants navigate the NDIS and connect them with the appropriate services and supports needed to improve their quality of life. They work closely with participants to understand their specific requirements and provide ongoing guidance to access resources such as housing, employment, social and community participation, therapies, treatments, and more.

Recovery coaching, a support more recently introduced by the NDIS, combines support coordination and coaching. It aims to help individuals with psychosocial disabilities build upon their resources, develop self-management skills, and navigate their recovery journey, fostering empowerment, hope, and self-efficacy. As part of our recovery coaching services, we also incorporate a Wellness Recovery Action Plan (WRAP), a structured framework for maintaining emotional well-being and managing potential challenges. From daily maintenance actions to crisis plans and post-crisis strategies, a WRAP equips individuals with the tools they need to effectively navigate their recovery.

To complement these services, we are excited to announce the launch of our online psychosocial support group. Led by Elissa Harris, a compassionate psychosocial recovery coach and counsellor, our support group provides a nurturing and understanding environment. The group aims to foster a sense of belonging, reduce feelings of isolation, and offer opportunities for shared learning and growth by connecting with others who understand their journey.

Our support group program is designed to teach healthy coping strategies, build resilience, and foster personal growth. It covers many topics, including self-care plans, self-compassion techniques, mindfulness practices, emotional regulation strategies, crisis management skills, and methods to improve sleep habits. Each week, the program will focus on a specific theme, providing practical tools, guidance, and resources tailored to those struggling with psychosocial conditions. Individuals can choose to attend a single session or commit to the entire 12-week program, giving flexibility to explore topics that resonate most with their journey. It's important to note that our support group is open to all individuals, irrespective of whether they have a formal diagnosis or an NDIS plan.

In conclusion, the recovery model offers a fresh perspective on mental health challenges, emphasizing strengths, empowerment, and personal growth. At Drop of Life, we support individuals on their recovery journey by providing tailored support coordination, recovery coaching, and a nurturing online support group. Together, we can embrace the power of recovery, transform lives, and foster a more compassionate and inclusive society. Let's walk this journey together.

References

ABS. (2019, October 24). Disability, ageing and carers, Australia: Summary of findings. Www.abs.gov.au; Australian Bureau of Statistics. https://www.abs.gov.au/statistics/health/disability/disability-ageing-and-carers-australia- summary-findings/latest-release

Drop of Life | NDIS Services. (n.d.). Drop of Life | NDIS Services. Retrieved June 9, 2023, fromhttps://ndis.dropoflife.com.au/

Healthtalk Australia. (n.d.). Personal recovery. Healthtalk Australia. https://www.healthtalkaustralia.org/supported-decision-making/personal-recovery/

NDIS. (2023, February 27). Mental Health and Psychosocial Disability. Ourguidelines.ndis.gov.au. https://ourguidelines.ndis.gov.au/how-ndis-supports-work-menu/mainstream-and- community-supports/who-responsible-supports-you-need/mental-health-and- psychosocial-disability

NSW Health. (2020). What is a recovery oriented approach? Www.health.nsw.gov.au. https://www.health.nsw.gov.au/mentalhealth/psychosocial/principles/Pages/recovery.aspx

Transition Support Project. (n.d.). TSP for all. Www.tspforall.com.au. Retrieved June 9, 2023, from https://www.tspforall.com.au/access/how

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