The Mental Health Services Act seeks to build a client-centered and family-focused system of supports for mental health recovery. The Recovery model as envisioned by the MHSA puts clients at the center of their own recovery journey by providing opportunities for individuals to grow according to their personal goals and creating the right mix of services and supports to help them succeed.

Central aspects of the Recovery Model include:

  • Responsibility
  • Hope
  • Individual recovery journey/Person-Centered
  • Strengths based
  • Peer support
  • Empowerment
  • Holistic
  • Non-linear
  • Respect*

*Components of Recovery. National Consensus Statement on Mental Health Recovery. 2005. Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration.

Recovery means different things to different people and cultural and ethnic differences are significant in what really works to advance a person’s well-being in mental health as in other areas.

So often contrary to common beliefs regarding the course of mental illnesses, research has actually and consistently shown that people can and do fully recover, even from their most severe forms, including bipolar disorder and schizophrenia. For recovery to take place, the culture of mental health care must fundamentally change. This mental health culture is based on self-determination and partnership of mental health clients with their families, significant others and the system of care itself where community living provides relevant supports, meaningful activity and gainful employment.

In order to assure and facilitate the implementation and ongoing integration toward a client and family directed mental health system that truly fosters recovery, the Los Angeles County Department of Mental Health has established the Empowerment and Advocacy Division (E&A). Empowerment and Advocacy units include the Client Office of Recovery and Empowerment (CORE) and the Office of the Family Advocate.

Emphasizing strengths and capabilities over weaknesses and disabilities, and the employment of mental health clients and family members with their unique expertise and sensibilities, and the important effect of culture and race, Empowerment and Advocacy plays a crucial and pivotal role in the transformation of the mental health and related systems in the enhancement and empowerment of the lives of people diagnosed and identified with mental illnesses. Through E&A, clients can connect to others who are in recovery and moreover, it is about recovery, peer-support, self-help and advocacy. E&A specifically helps develop awareness of the needs and provide supports to people of diverse cultural and ethnic backgrounds whose lives are affected by mental illnesses.

Many resources exist to help people on their personal road of recovery from the effects of mental illnesses and their families and friends. Learn more about these efforts and contacting Empowerment and Advocacy and CORE. Family member supports for parents, caregivers and others

Family members play an important role in supporting people who have mental illnesses. In addition families face many difficulties of their own in coping with the effects of mental illness and walking the road to recovery with their loved ones. NAMI, the National Alliance on Mental Illness, provides ongoing support, training and advocacy for family members. To learn more about NAMI in Los Angeles County please visit one of the following.