Developing a Toolkit to Enhance Recovery Promoting Competencies for Mental Health and Rehab Providers Serving English and Spanish Speaking Individuals with Serious Psychiatric Disabilities





While advocates and researchers have developed, verified and promoted the notion of recovery from psychiatric disability over the last half of the twentieth century ( Frese,1998; Tomes, 2006; Anthony 1993; Farkas et al. 2001; Harding et al, 1987; 1994), the publication of the Surgeon General’s Report on Mental Health (Department of Health and Human Services, (1999) and the President’s New Freedom Commission on Mental Health’s Final Report (2003) validated recovery as a significant consideration for treatment providers and policy makers. Many states have developed plans to transform their mental health systems in accordance with recovery-oriented principles. However, for individuals with serious psychiatric disabilities to be able to recover (i.e., participate fully in the roles they want and in the communities they prefer), services have to move beyond recovery oriented principles to recovery oriented competencies. This transformation requires a skilled and dedicated workforce that is willing to be flexible, responsive to the individual with psychiatric disabilities and be able to facilitate people’s ability to reclaim a purposeful and meaningful life. In addition, while there is an urgent need for culturally sensitive mental health and rehabilitation services for the Latino population in the United States, there is an acute shortage of Latino providers to deliver such services (Ruiz, 1997; Sanchez et al., 1996; Sanchez et al. 1997; Taylor, 1999). For state mental health agency administrators, the workforce is the engine that makes the current system run (NASMHPD /NTAC, 2004).

The purpose of this project therefore is to develop, evaluate and disseminate two Recovery Promoting Competencies Toolkits (one to better prepare providers when they serve Latinos and one to better prepare providers when they serve non-Latinos). The toolkits for providers of mental health and rehabilitation services will enhance recovery promoting competencies by 1) increasing provider attention to the factors that individuals with psychiatric disabilities perceive to be important in facilitating recovery; 2) increasing their knowledge about recovery and these factors; 3) increasing their ability to use strategies and core relationship skills to promote recovery from serious mental illnesses. The development of the toolkits will be informed by research findings from previous NIDRR funded studies that contributed to the development of the Recovery Promoting Competency Scale (Russinova et al, 2006; Russinova et al., 2011) for both providers, including one for those serving Latinos (Rogers et al, 2011).

Goal One:To develop two toolkits for recovery promoting competencies that increases provider knowledge and ability to enhance recovery for individuals with serious psychiatric disabilities.

Goal Two:To evaluate the efficacy of the toolkits and their perceived utility.

Goal Three:To disseminate the curriculum to the workforce of the mental health and rehabilitation system.

This toolkit will be developed through a blend of innovative technologies including translating research findings into clinical techniques and using established technologies of competence development for this population that have been tested over the course of several decades by the Boston Center for Psychiatric Rehabilitation. Its implementation is expected to increase the ability of providers of mental health and rehabilitation services to facilitate recovery.


BU Center for Psychiatric Rehabilitation Staff                               Role
Marianne Farkas, Sc.D.                                                                        Co-Principal Investigator
Dori Hutchinson, Sc.D.
Rick Forbess, MSSW
Maria Restrepo-Toro, MS
Zlatka Russinova, Ph.D.


No documents available at this time. Please use the project contact for specific inquiries.


Inquiries related to the project should be addressed to:

Marianne Farkas, ScD

Boston University Center for Psychiatric Rehabilitation
940 Commonwealth Avenue West, 2nd Floor
Boston, MA 02215