Forgotten Dad's story:
Learning to trust others
Don't do it alone...
Thriving with a second chance
Dialogue for Recovery is a Mental Health America program aimed at educating consumers about prevalent mental health conditions, treatment options and quality of life issues affecting their recovery. Dialogue for Recovery is also designed to enhance communication between consumers and their health care providers so that consumers can find the right combination of medications and support services to develop effective treatment plans.
The Dialogue for Recovery Web site features an interactive screening tool to assess for such conditions as depression, bipolar disorder, and anxiety, as well as a user-friendly tool called the Antipsychotic Side-Effects Checklist (ASC). Other helpful features on the site include a consumer brochure and wallet card that describes how patients can discuss side effects with their physicians, a physician fact sheet, a guide for family and friends, and online worksheets.
Many people living with mental illness are suffering needlessly due to a lack of information about how best to manage their illness and fuel their recovery process. According to the United States Surgeon General, at least one in five people during the course of a year will live with a diagnosable mental disorder. Although recent medical advances and improved community support programs offer consumers a greater opportunity than ever to lead full and productive lives, many consumers discontinue their medications, particularly antipsychotic medications, because of unpleasant side effects. Discontinuing medication is a serious concern, especially for those people with schizophrenia, because it increases a consumer's risk of a relapse of illness.
A recent global survey of 331 psychiatrists from the U.S., Canada, the United Kingdom, France, Germany and Italy found that more than half view medication issues as the most pressing problem they face in helping their patients. Further, an overwhelming majority (89%) recognizes that treatment side effects are a major factor in a patient's decision to stop taking medication. Physicians, however, are sometimes unaware of the side effects that their patients may be experiencing. Some consumers, for example, may be embarrassed to discuss certain side effects such as sexual dysfunction with their providers. Additionally, some side effects may mimic the conditions of the mental illness itself. These are some of the reasons why open and honest dialogue between consumers and their physicians is so important.