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Persons who have received a mental illness diagnosis, particularly one of a serious and persistent nature, have found psychiatric rehabilitation services beneficial in their recovery.
Recovery is believed to be a process based on readjustment of attitudes, feelings, perceptions and beliefs about self and others. The values represented in psychiatric rehabilitation are consistent, even intrinsic, to recovery. There are five key values that represent the practice of psychiatric rehabilitation: 1. Self-determination, 2. Dignity and worth of every individual, 3. Optimism, 4. Capacity for every person to learn and grow and 5. Cultural sensitivity.
Practitioners in psychiatric rehabilitation believe that everyone must be involved in decisions that effect their lives. This self-determination is often referred to as empowerment. Empowerment is something that is developed within the person not something done to or for an individual. The recovery process is supported in psychiatric rehabilitation by providing information, options and resources.
Dignity and worth of every human being regardless of the degree of impairment is a core value of psychiatric rehabilitation. Although this statement is often used in many arenas, the persistent stigma directed toward those with a mental illness or anyone who appears different in some way does not indicate that it is practiced. There needs to be a consistent effort to maintain or restore dignity to those with a mental illness.
Optimism on the part of service providers can generalize to those receiving services. A positive attitude is catching. Words and actions of practitioners that convey hope help those with an illness recover hope.
Inherent in this optimism is the belief that everyone can learn and grow. The presence of a mental illness does not eliminate learning and development of ways to achieve personal goals.
Mental illness knows no cultural or ethnic boundaries. Sensitivity to differences in cultures enables staff to assist those receiving psychiatric rehabilitation services to become better integrated into their community. It avoids staff assuming or making incorrect judgements.
The struggle to free those diagnosed with a mental illness from the role of a mental patient as a cultural identity can be better won with respect for the individual and the particular culture.
These values are the essence of psychiatric rehabilitation. When they are used effectively, they are the basis for recovery. Indeed, the five values can provide the basis for all people to achieve emotional health.