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Psychiatry program garners national education award
Date:2/24/2012

AUGUSTA, Ga. - An approach to treatment that focuses on recovery from mental illness, not the treatment of it, is gaining national acclaim for the Medical College of Georgia Department of Psychiatry and Health Behavior at Georgia Health Sciences University.

Project GREAT, or the Georgia Recovery-Based Educational Approach to Treatment, encourages health care providers to empower patients to be part of their own care, while also changing the way providers think about treatment. It is based on the Recovery Model of psychiatric care, which developed in the 1980's as a way to deinstitutionalize mental illness.

"The model is really about a broader sense of hope for consumers," says Dr. Alex Mabe, a Professor of Psychiatry and Health Behavior and faculty leader for the program. "The goal of our program is to let people be experts in their own care and offer them treatment plans that connect with life goals they provide."

While recovery-oriented treatment programs are sprouting up across the country, GHSU is one of the first academic departments of psychiatry to take on the challenge of changing clinical services and educational curriculum.

The effort has earned the department the 2012 Award for Creativity in Psychiatric Education from the American College of Psychiatrists. The award was presented Saturday, Feb. 25, at the College's annual meeting in Naples, Fla.

Project GREAT was the brainchild of Dr. Peter Buckley, former Chairman of the department and now MCG Dean. "Recovery was not a concept in my training," he says. "We took that concept and said we should be treating our consumers in a new way and we should be training our future workforce. Project GREAT has been a collaborative effort and would not have been possible without the invaluable support of The Carter Center, the state's Department of Behavioral Health and Developmental Disabilities, and Georgia's Mental Health Consumer Network."

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Contact: Jennifer Scott
jscott1@georgiahealth.edu
706-721-8604
Georgia Health Sciences University
Source:Eurekalert  

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