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Recovery & Resiliency: A Goal for Alumni Services

June 1, 2011
by Lorie Obernauer
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A friend of mine sent me a compelling report this morning: “Practice Guidelines for Resilience and Recovery-Oriented Treatment” created by DBHIDS (Department of Behavioral Health & Intellectual Disability Services). This report, developed by representatives of Philadelphia’s health system, took over 6 years to complete, and included many individuals, groups and organizations. Voices of people in recovery, family members, treatment providers, advocates and system administrators are all represented. The report is the first of three that will guide Philadelphia’s health system in “delivering services and supports that promote recovery and resilience”. Future reports will focus on system changes necessary to implement these practices and emerging federal direction and community participation in early intervention and the promotion of overall health.

This initial report covers four “domains” in its overall vision for treatment and recovery:

  • 1. Assertive outreach and initial engagement
  • 2. Screening, assessment, service planning and delivery
  • 3. Continuing support and early re-intervention
  • 4. Community connection and mobilization
For each domain, goals, objectives and strategies are outlined. Appendices include a long list of references, definitions, competencies, resources and more. Over 100 pages provide details for those of us who are involved in treatment and recovery services.
As an alumni services professional, I am especially intrigued by many of the ideas presented in this document. Suggestions to integrate and coordinate primary care and follow-up care, to support and develop peer-run activities, and to promote wellness by teaching specific strategies to sustain recovery beyond the treatment episode are all possible within the context of alumni services. Creating alumni programs that help individuals realize their strengths and passions, and assisting them to find support from peers and resources within their communities should guide what we do as professionals in the treatment field.

As I continue to read and digest the wealth of information in this document, I will surely have more thoughts and comments. Please download your copy of the report and begin to browse. What’s your initial impression? How might you use some of this information in your work?


Lorie Obernauer

Alumni Coordinator at CeDAR (Center for Dependency, Addiction & Rehabilitation, University of Colorado Hospital

Lorie Obernauer

Lorie Obernauer, PhD, is the Alumni Coordinator at CeDAR (Center for Dependency, Addiction...

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