The Establishment of an International Collaboration to Support the Implementation of an Illness Management and Recovery Programme for Consumers with a Severe Mental Illness in the Netherlands
Goossens, Peter J. J.
Engelbertink, Monique M. J.
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(41st Biennial Convention) In the Netherlands, the concept of recovery in mental health care has taken on new meanings in recent years that emphasize personal empowerment and de-emphasize traditional medical definitions focusing on the absence of psychopathology. According to Anthony, "recovery involves the development of new meaning and purpose in one's life as one grows beyond the catastrophic effects of mental illness." Essentially, recovery can be thought of as managing one's illness so that the person can develop or regain a sense of self and place in society. Illness Management and Recovery (IMR) is a curriculum-based approach to helping consumers of mental health services identify recovery goals and learn the skills to manage illnesses independently. It is an evidence based intervention aimed at teaching consumers with severe mental illness how to manage their disorder in the context of pursuing personally defined "recovery" goals. To support the implementation of IMR in Dutch mental health institutions the department of mental health of Saxion University established a national IMR network. To date, nine mental health organizations participate. These organizations are in different stages of implementing IMR. In this national network we work in close collaboration with the department of psychology of the Indiana University Purdue University Indianapolis USA as they have been studying IMR and its implementation since 2003. During the STTI Biennial Conference in 2009 I visited dr. Salyers and her team to discuss collaboration in the Dutch National IMR Network. The aims of the network are fourfold: to establish opportunities for knowledge sharing, to organise education and training, to promote quality assurance and fidelity assessment, and to undertake research projects. During my presentation I will talk about how the national IMR network is organised, the activities in the network and what is achieved. The value of international collaboration with UIPUI will be discussed.