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PRO.A / NEWS Recovery Works Summit! 2016 Survey Summary

Recovery Works Summit! 2016 Survey Summary

Recovery Works Summit 2016


SAMSHA defines recovery as “a process of change whereby individuals work to improve their own health and wellness and to live a meaningful life in a community of their choice while striving to achieve their full potential” ( Those of us with lived recovery experience have worked to improve our lives and continue to strive to reach our full potential 窶 often with amazing results. We have long recognized the inherent value of persons with lived recovery experience and the significant impact that we can have working in the Substance Use Disorder and Mental Health Service Systems. There is growing recognition of the contributions that our communities can make working across the larger behavioral health system workforce.

Historically, the Behavioral Health Service System has consisted of two systems, the Mental Health and the Substance Use Treatment systems, each with issues of stigma and discrimination. Advocates and persons served within these systems have long fought for parity and equality to access the services that they need and to be afforded equal opportunities in order to realize their full capabilities and potential as citizens.

To increase the viability of our Service Systems and our collective workforce, we must more fully understand and embrace opportunities to assist our communities to reach our full potential. Several important steps must first be taken. We must strengthen our collective voices on advocacy issues and identify and work towards defining and eliminating barriers for those with lived recovery experience. Failure to maximize the assets that are already in our midst may greatly impact the future of the entire Service System, and the individual lives of those accessing services from this system.


We developed this survey in an effort to more fully understand the peer workforce, the availability of training and job opportunities for persons with lived recovery experience, and to identify other perceived barriers and factors that mayツinfluence persons to work within our Service Systems. Self-administered questionnaires were supplied via a web link in early April of 2016. Paper copies of the survey were also given out in a variety of settings, including trainings and regional meetings, and manually entered into the Survey Monkey database. The majority of respondents submitted their results during the first week of May. The survey was closed on June 20th, with 493 responses recorded.

You can read the full survey summary here.