Benefit for Participants:
WSM is important because it provides consumers with research-informed knowledge and tools to better manage mental and physical health problems. This enables individuals to spend less time managing illness and more time pursuing goals and enjoying life. WSM is also designed to reinforce principles of recovery including shared decision-making, informed choice, involvement, and hope.
What people who have completed a WSM group program have to say:
- “I was very angry, I wasn’t dealing with it. I wasn’t taking my illness seriously. Now I decided to start taking my meds on time and not skip it.”
- “I thought I could never handle a job but now I’m looking forward to getting a job.”
- “It helps pinpoint symptoms. I can feel the storm coming and prevent it from happening.”
- “I asked my mom to help me with the WSM book. I told her about the program … it gives me a push to keep going.”
- “It’s so upfront, right in your face … it’s like having a parent with no penalties.”
- “This group gives me tools I can use … different from other groups.”
- “I like the cultural background part. It doesn’t violate your cultural background.”
Benefit for mental health staff providing WSM programs:
The WSM curriculum, materials, consumer workbook, and corresponding training integrate a number of core clinical skills. These include motivation enhancing strategies, basic cognitive-behavioral approaches, teaching techniques, and practical group leadership skills. WSM is designed to support clinical staff in providing WSM services in group and individual moralities.
What staff members who facilitated a WSM group program have to say:
- “At first I was skeptical about this group because we start lots of groups. … I noticed that the consumers were really listening to this and using the stuff they say in the group. … More and more clients are telling their friends about it, and they want to join. Even the psychiatrists want to see the workbooks.”
- “Running the group has affected me. I have been able to step out of my position for a moment and understand what they have been going through. … I am learning from them and they are learning from me, we are both growing.”
- “Clients actually have something to look forward to. People are alive and alert … up and active.”
- “It’s really helpful because until now, they didn’t have anything they could take home. People have the book now. Consumers talk about how they were able to sit down with the psychiatrist and therapist and ask questions.”
Benefit for mental health agencies:
WSM provides a comprehensive, structured, systematic, and cost-effective individual and group curriculum that can be implemented, sustained, and spread in a practical and efficient manner.
What administrators have to say:
- “The WSM initiative is a terrific, engaging, and empowering intervention for mental health consumers. Giving staff a set of clear guidelines on how to involve consumers in the management of their own illnesses, this intervention helps our consumers take more responsibility for their recovery. Staff and clients love it!!”
Amy Dorin, Senior Vice President, FEGS, New York City
- "The timing of the wellness self management program perfectly married with SUS's organizational transformation efforts. For staff and consumers, it is the bridge between our values and ethics work and practical strategies to support individuals toward their recovery. The program's success demonstrates the power of collaboration."
Donna Colonna, Executive Director, Services for the Underserved (SUS) New York City
- "The WSM program has added an important new dimension to the way person-centered planning, rehabilitation, and recovery services are provided at ICL. ... Consumers and staff have been equally enthusiastic about the positive results they have seen and the satisfaction they have experienced putting WSM into practice."
Michael Blady, LCSW-R, Associate Executive V.P., Institute for Community Living
- "WSM has been an extraordinary success for both clients and staff. For clients, it gave them the opportunity to acquire concrete skills while giving them an unprecedented feeling of accomplishment and hope. The program invigorated the staff's belief in recovery. WSM has become an essential foundational service for our recovery oriented agency."
Peter D. Beitchman, DSW, Executive Director, The Bridge, Inc.