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Recovery journal guides mental health journey

Published:  22 July 2020

A peaceful gum adorns the front of a new Townsville Hospital and Health Service mental health recovery journal, inviting consumers to take control of their mental health journey through 100 pages of self-paced art therapy, mindfulness and an integrated wellness recovery action plan.

‘My Recovery Journal’ was a project of the Lived Experience Reference Group (LERG), who, using their personal experience, rewrote the resource to help consumers during their inpatient stay and post discharge.

Recovery Journal Working Group chair and LERG representative Emma Smith said the journal was about empowering consumers and giving people ownership of their own recovery.

“‘My Recovery Journal’ is a tool for consumers to take charge of their recovery through information, education and self-advocacy resources,” she said.

“Different people are drawn to different types of therapies, so the recovery journal was designed with a variety of tools for consumers to work through both during a hospital stay and during home-based and community recovery.

“The original intent of the recovery journal was for inpatients of the adult acute inpatient mental health unit; however, the way it has been designed has meant it is also incredibly valuable for community consumers as well.”

Comprising five sections, the journal includes self-help techniques, art journaling activities, schedule and appointment recording, information about symptoms, where to get more information and help, and tools to use during admission.

“There are some beautiful activities included with templates for creating your own shield of strength, recovery path and sheet music, writing prompts for supporting wellness, things that inspire and grounding techniques, as well as visual symptom trackers and appointment schedules,” Emma said.

Townsville HHS carer consultant Sharyn van Eerde said the LERG Recovery Journal Working Group had gone the extra mile to ensure the journal was beneficial for consumers. 

“The journal was driven by people who have been there and lived that experience so the group were able to draw on the tools that helped them during their recovery, or could identify things that would have helped them,” Sharyn said.

“The group have done an exceptional job and the entire service group is delighted to be able to provide this beautiful resource to the Townsville community.”

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