Recovery, Resiliency, Wellness, & Peer Support

The values of recovery and resiliency guide us as we work with providers. Together we want to deliver quality care to each member.

Check out our Peer Professional Employment Guide.

Your wellness and recovery

You can live well and still have mental health challenges. Taking care of yourself involves good lifestyle habits. These include:

  • Eating the right foods.
  • Getting regular exercise.
  • Getting a good night’s rest.
  • Having good hygiene.

Good lifestyle habits will help you live well. Living with day-to-day challenges in life includes:

  • Building your skills to bounce back even when you are feeling stress.
  • Having healthy relationships.

Below are a few questions and answers to help you understand the ideas of:

  • Recovery.
  • Resiliency.
  • Wellness.
  • Peer support.

What is recovery?

Recovery means getting better. Your recovery may not be like someone else’s. There are many roads to recovery. Each person has his or her own path. Some things apply to everyone:

  • Positive changes are possible.
  • Recovery builds on your strengths and coping skills.
  • Coping skills improve during recovery.

Recovery includes having choices about your services and supports. This helps you gain control over your life. Your recovery plan is something you develop for yourself. Your provider, a peer, a friend or family member can help you develop it. It includes goals built on your needs, preferences and experiences. Another important part of recovery is respect for your rights. You should not be treated unfairly (see the member rights and responsibilities section on this website). Recovery involves accepting and believing in you. Take responsibility for your own recovery. Get help from others who are living well with their own mental health challenges. This is called mutual support. Or peer support. It means helping each other. You will read more about peer support later.

Having hope is important for recovery. You need to believe your life will get better. And you will have a better future. Hope comes from you. Your family, friends and providers can give you a sense of hope too.

What is resiliency?

Resiliency is the ability to bounce back and adapt. Even if you feel stress. Building resiliency includes learning new skills. This helps you feel more confident. It gives you a sense of hope. Resiliency means you are able to grow. You learn new ways to face challenges. This helps you move into the future.

How can I be more resilient?

People have different roads to recovery. They have many ways to learn to bounce back. Be aware when you have bad feelings about yourself or your situation. Then you can figure out how to stop letting these feelings affect you. Spirituality also helps people become more resilient. You must have hope in your life from yourself and from others. Meaning and purpose in life are important for everyone. Find ways to do healthy and enjoyable things. This may mean working or volunteering. Or learning new things. Or doing something creative. Or it may mean helping others get better. Some people discover that helping others helps them.

What does it mean to be well?

Our health includes mental and physical health. It also includes other areas of our lives, such as:

  • Having your own money to do things you like.
  • Being able to do creative things like paint, play music and work in a garden.
  • Having healthy relationships.
  • Having choices.

Wellness also includes helping others. Helping other people on the road to recovery and wellness helps you. This is called the “helper’s principle.” We get better by supporting others to get better.

What is peer support?

Peer support is when people who have experiences like yours help you. They share their experiences of living with behavioral health issues. Peer support comes from people who want to help you recover and be well. This can mean helping you build a circle of support you can count on. Getting peer support helps people living with behavioral health issues and physical health problems. It helps them live better, healthier lives in the community.

Family members and parents who have had similar experiences also give peer support. They may be trained to help other families and parents. Family members who live with individuals who have mental health issues sometimes need to talk with someone who understands them. Family and parent peer support can help people who have a child living with mental health issues.

How can I get peer support?

Peer support may be provided through:

  • A self-help group.
  • A peer-run organization.
  • A family/parent-run organization.
  • Your mental health provider.

A self-help group is made up of other people living with issues like yours. One example of a self-help group is Alcoholics Anonymous. Another example is Peer Support Whole Health and Resiliency groups. In these groups, you can join others in learning how to create healthy lifestyle choices. These choices will be based on your own goals and hopes. There are many self-help groups offered by peer and family-run organizations in Pennsylvania.

Peer-run organizations are more formal. They may have a variety of services and supports offered in a safe, drug and alcohol free community setting. This includes self-help groups. They are run by people living with mental health and/or substance use disorder issues themselves. These people are moving along in their own recovery and want to help others. Some peer-run organizations have programs to help you:

  • Find a job.
  • Find a safe place to live.
  • Create your own recovery and wellness plan.

Some organizations operate a “warm line.” This is a telephone number you can call to talk with a peer supporter when you feel alone. You can also call if you just need to talk with someone who knows what it means to live with mental health issues.

Family/parent-run organizations also are more formal. They include many services and supports. They are run by people who have a family member who lives with mental health related issues. These groups are similar to peer-run organizations. They are run by family members who can help by sharing their own experiences.

Your mental health provider may offer peer support services. The peers who provide this support are trained to be peer specialists. They have special skills, information and ways to help you.