Here we are in February already; I still cannot get over how quickly this program is passing me by! My cohort is currently five weeks into Semester 5, and things are just getting more interesting. This semester we are focusing on group psychotherapy, health policies, sociology of mental health and illness, and psychosocial rehabilitation. Psychosocial rehabilitation, or PSR as I’ll be referring to it throughout the blog, is our focus for this semester’s clinical. I have been placed at Penticton Regional Hospital on the inpatient psychiatric unit, but I will also have a chance to work out in the community, which is where PSR really shines. So what exactly is PSR? Let me tell you all about it…!
PSR is the process of helping someone who has been diagnosed with a psychiatric disorder to restore functioning and well-being within their community. Recovery is an important concept with regards to PSR as it stands for rebuilding a meaningful and valued life despite having struggled with mental illness. For people who are on the path towards recovery from mental illness, getting back to their family/social/work life is challenging and even intimidating! Setting goals is a vital process within PSR in order to get clients to the point of feeling that their quality of life is sufficient, and they are able to reintegrate into society in the most functional way possible. Recovery works towards instilling hope in clients who are looking to live their lives, even with the limitations caused by mental illness.
Another question to consider: What is the difference between recovery and cure? Recovery is not a ‘good bye’ to all symptoms and problems from mental health issues… that is a cure. Recovery involves any residual symptoms and problems having less of an interference with the client’s life. How often do we hear the word ‘cure’ when we talk about mental illness? Not very often, is the answer! Mental illness is not something that goes away overnight, much less is cured for life! PSR helps gives clients the skills and guidance to reintegrate into society and have a chance to live their lives to the fullest, and are given opportunities that those without mental illness are given.
PSR differs from the traditional medical model of rehabilitation in that focus is now placed more so on health and wellness, rather than apparent symptoms of the client. We look at what a person can do, not what their disabilities are. Most importantly perhaps, PSR can take place in a natural setting, whereas years ago, the setting for care was always institutional. It is refreshing to see how far we have come in this field; a client is so much more than someone to treat. They are people, just like us, but who are sick and need help. It doesn’t mean they should lose control of their lives. We are just there to guide them along the way.
As always, I hope my passion is perceptible through this blog! Having been a child struggling with depression, my road to recovery was incredibly difficult, but doable. Being given the skills to get back into society and the same opportunities as others has allowed me to lead a successful and overall fantastic life! Now, I can give that help back to others. And that is pretty awesome 🙂
Please feel free to ask questions or leave comments; I really enjoy sharing this incredible educational journey I’m on!