I recently met a person who shared their recovery narrative at a State Psychiatric Hospital. This individual had spent several years at a forensic facility and just as many years at another State Psychiatric hospital. In spite of seven years of state level psychiatric services the person appeared to transcend institutionalization through self-discovery and a sense of inner peace. This person has a vision to work as a Peer Provider (Specialist). They credit their vocational pursuit to learning to manage past victimization (trauma experiences) and own behaviors of anger and blaming others. This person expressed wanting to be a contributing member of society. Knowing the state hospital is not a home they graciously acknowledged the support from administration, direct service staff, clinicians, and peers who continue to aid his/her recovery.
I was so encouraged by this individual’s steadfast resilience I eagerly approached offering my peer support. The person was delighted to inform me about their pending discharge. We then discussed employment opportunities, consumer (peer) training, the Division of Vocational Rehabilitation Services (DVRS), Supported Employment Services (SES) and Supported Education (SEd). These state level treatment services of respect, dignity, and hope helped preserve this individual’s belief in employment as a major tool for discharge planning and community integration.
George H. Brice, Jr.
Department of Psychiatric Rehabilitation & Counseling Professions
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