Skip to Main Content

Recovery Guides and Tools


Advancing Trauma Informed Primary Care
The National Council for Behavioral Health shares Fostering Resilience and Recovery: A Change Package for Advancing Trauma-informed Primary Care, a field-informed guide developed by the nation’s most influential leaders shaping trauma-informed approaches.

Person-First Language Bibliography & Resource List (pdf)
Bibliography of resources put together by the Person-First Language Workgroup of the Recovery Council. Includes links to several of the resources.

SAMHSA’s Working Definition of Recovery (pdf)
Provides a standard working definition of recovery and outlines the ten guiding principles of recovery.

Putting Recovery at the Heart of All We Do (pdf)
Based on research by the Devon Partnership National Health Service Trust, this provides guidelines mental health professionals can use to support people’s goals, strengths, and available resources, whether or not they opt for medication during treatment.

Enhancing the Effectiveness of Psychiatric Care and Other Services and Supports: Guidelines for Promoting Recovery Through Choice and Alternatives
The National Coalition for Mental Health Recovery, a national coalition of statewide consumer/survivor organizations and others, released these guidelines to educate people about the values-based needs of individuals with mental health challenges. The guidelines were developed by a diverse group of people with the lived experience of mental health recovery from across the United States.

Paving New Ground: Peers Working in Inpatient Settings
A guidebook by Gayle Bluebird, APNA member and National Consumer Survivor Consultant
Supported by the National Technical Assistance Center, National Association of State Mental Health Program Directors
Pillows of Unrest Instruction Manual (pdf)
This is a simple but creative consumer project that allows issues or feelings to be shared in the form of pillowcase art.

Guide to Person-Centered Excellence – Application for Services for People with Mental Illness and People with Substance Use Disorder
Put together by the Council on Quality and Leadership, this guide promotes quality improvement in behavioral health services and supports through best practices and the resulting quality improvement initiatives which can be applied across the range of supports and services for people with mental illness and substance use disorder.

A Patient-Centered Guide to Implementing Language Access Services in Healthcare Organizations (pdf)
From the HHS Office on Minority Health, a guide that helps healthcare organizations implement effective language access services to meet the needs of their patients with limited English proficiency and increase their access to health care.


Shared Decision Making Tool: “The role of antipsychotic medication in my recovery plan” – SAMHSA
An interactive, multimedia decision support tool for service users that compares the currently marketed antipsychotic medications on key side effects. It also offers information about treatment and service options – including complementary approaches. And, it provides people with an opportunity to consider and create a personalized report about their preferences on the role of antipsychotic medications in their recovery plan.

SAMHSA Video: Leaving the Door Open
Trains mental health services direct care staff, administrators, and consumers on alternative approaches to seclusion and restraint in the treatment of people with serious mental illness. Emphasizes the consumer perspective and includes five topical sections.

Alaskan Core Competencies – from the Annapolis Coalition
Funded by the Alaska Mental Health Trust Authority, these competencies are cross-disability in nature, relevant to jobs in multiple health and human service sectors. This set of six Assessment Tools is designed specifically for use with these competencies. The tools promote a Collaborative Competency Building approach in which an employee and supervisor work cooperatively to identify the worker’s strengths, the skills in need of improvement, and the plans to improve those skills.

Practicing Recovery: Getting to the Core of Recovery, August 2018
A SAMHSA newsletter on incorporating recovery principles into practice.

The Role of Medication in Mental Health Recovery
A SAMHSA newsletter on the role of medication as part of recovery.

Inspirational Stories of the Journey on the Road to Recovery
A video series featuring individual stories on recovery.