The FRC advocates the principle that recovery and wellness are profoundly developed and supported through the idea of community.
It is in all of the individuals within a society to develop community responses to severe behavioural health challenges. They are problems that concern all of us.
So far our work at FRC has led us to engage in the UK, South Africa, US and Vietnam.
In the UK we are developing a pioneering project to build a Recovery to Wellness Community built on and based in our coaching approach and offering access to people from a diverse set of healthcare challenges, Addictions, Diabetes and Obesity, Mental Health.
This is not limited to these individuals but is extended to all those impacted, i.e partners, family, children, co-workers and close friends.
The development of community, focused around a particular health challenge such as addiction, cancer or diabetes, has proven that individuals are able to find ways to support each other as they seek recovery pathways.
We see that people with shared stories and experiences can come together and, with a common cause, become resources to each other to develop recovery. Those of us who are affected by these challenges, because they exist in our community, can support these groups in many ways, not least by facilitating access to resources they may request and need.
We know too that the most successful communities seem to be those that self organise with respect for each other, avoiding pitfalls of authoritarian control and domination.
By empowering these communities we are shifting the power differential away from the bias that the impetus for and generation of recovery lies in the hands of medical experts. We recognise the place where it actually lies, in the hands of the people in recovery.
Recovery cannot be forced or coerced onto someone but rather is driven from within the individual by the individual. Community can create an environment where this can more likely be encouraged to take place. So can coaching.
Inside these groups the effectiveness of the groups can be almost immediately raised by the introduction of coaching principles, contexts and skills.
Our wider communities are where we live and work. It is from within community that our health care challenges develop and it is within them that we can find powerful support and transformative environment within which recovery takes place. Often communities will be divided about how to react to and develop a response to their heath challenges. Behavioral health challenges require mixed medical and non-medical responses.
Discrimination, marginalisation and stigmatisation serve only to decrease effectiveness in engaging with these kind of problems. Typically it drives people into more secrecy, dis-engagement and marginalisation within the community. They are then less able to access resources they may need, are reluctant to engage and will be fearful of sanctions leading to negative consequences.
What is required is a set of skills that will increase the effectiveness of dialogue, the improvement of our personal relationships, increased feelings by individuals that they can make valuable contributions as well as receive the kind of support that engenders self-responsibility and self-actualisation. These outcomes are integrated with values of respect for ourselves and each other, respect for differences and other opinions, the claiming of own responsibility for contribution to the community and liberty from inter personal oppression.
Our coaching programme provides the framework, skills and tools to bring community alive based on these universal values.