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Action Planning for Prevention and Recovery Introduction


Do you experience feelings and symptoms that are upsetting, that keep you from being the way you want to be and doing the things you want to do? Many people who have troubling emotional, psychiatric, or physical symptoms have made great advances in learning how to do things to help themselves get well and stay well. One of the most frustrating stages of recovering your health is when you realize that you can do many things to help yourself stay well but you can’t figure out a way to do them regularly. It is easy to forget simple things that you know, especially when you are under stress or when your symptoms are beginning to flare up. The action plans for prevention and recovery described in this chapter were devised by people who experience emotional or psychiatric symptoms. They developed ways to deal with their need for structure in their lives that actively support their health. The plans are simple, low-cost, and can be changed and added to over time as you learn more and more. Anyone can develop and use these plans for any kind of health concern.

People using this system report that by being prepared and taking action as necessary, they feel better more often and have improved the overall quality of their lives dramatically. One person said, “Finally, there’s something I can do to help myself.”

Action plans for prevention and recovery work because they:

  • are easy to develop and easy to use
  • are individualized. You develop your plan for yourself. No one else can do it for you; however, you can reach out to others for assistance and support
  • improve your ability to communicate effectively with your family members and health care providers
  • directly address the feelings, symptoms, circumstances, and events that are most troubling to you with plans to respond to them
  • renew your sense of hope that things can and will get better, and that you have control over your life and the way you feel

Sourced in July 2017 from:

Center for Mental Health Services
Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services
5600 Fishers Lane, Room 15-99
Rockville, MD 20857