Moshe Sakal currently works as a Mental Health and Peer Coach. In his private practice, The Mind Within, he supports individuals through their journey of recovery from mental health crisis to mental well-being. He also works with mental health organizations and trains Peer Support Workers to run peer-led programs, including Recovery College courses. In the past he worked as a Peer Support Worker at an Early Intervention for Psychosis clinic at Canada’s largest mental health hospital, the Centre for Addiction and Mental Health.
In this online webinar Moshe shared his experience in recovering from psychosis and how his health started to improve once he acknowledged that there was a problem and that he needed help. During these early stages over 10 years ago he also learned more about peer support in mental health.
In his presentation, Moshe described a Recovery Road Map that outlines seven stages that are relevant to a person’s recovery. These stages were developed based on his own understanding of recovery and the stages he saw peers go through as he supported them over the years. According to Moshe these stages overlap with the transtheoretical model of change, and though he is continuing to develop the details of the map and to test it in his practice, he believes it can be a useful reference tool that mental health professionals use to guide their clients.
The road map includes the stages of trauma and confusion that lead to mental health issues, followed by the early stages of the recovery journey where a person is open to support and connects with hope through peers, professionals, or other supports. This stage is followed by time spent in exploring and discovering new ways of being and thinking, including discovering creative talents and interests. In time this leads to finding meaning and purpose while connecting to community.
The end goal of the journey is not to be symptom free, though that can happen, but for the person to feel that they can stand in a place of truth and trust. A place where one has learned how to be caring and kind to oneself and gained a sense of trust in the choices one makes, while also being in a place where one is open and honest to one’s inner experience. At this stage, a person is using one’s strengths, talents, and abilities to live a life in which they thrive and even support others around them to do the same. Through these stages a person has developed a level of awareness that was not there before the recovery journey began and see themselves and others from a new perspective.
Moshe also spent part of the presentation sharing how mental health professionals can support those they care for in a compassionate way by being mindful of these stages of recovery. There are values and principles that are important to consider when providing mental health care. He shared that from his own personal experience and from his experience in providing support not everyone is ready to receive care for their mental health. Some people may be aware that there is a problem that they need to address, but they may not be ready to do so, while others may not have that level of awareness or may not know how to start their recovery journey. People’s traumas impact them in different ways and as providers we need to respond to their needs appropriately. It takes skill, practice, and sensitivity to offer the best support possible.
The value that we bring those we support are conversations that can support the individual to find strategies and ways to heal from their suffering, and to make healthier choices that align with who they truly are along with their hopes, goals, wishes, and dreams.
Other topics that Moshe touched on include the perspective that our understanding of the brain and mind is still evolving, and therefore so is our understanding of mental health. He shared that there is more for us to explore and understand about human consciousness, for example.
Finally, Moshe offered an invitation to mental health professionals and researchers who may be interested, to collaborate with him to test the validity of the Recovery Road Map and his approach to mental wellbeing.
Moshe provided a webinar on Groupthera. Groupthera is a platform for mental health education, group therapy and webinars. A sister company of Groupthera is PsychOnline which is a platform for mental health clinics, hospitals, crisis centers, private practices, and individual practices. The platform increases efficiency and allows one to provide care to more patients in a shorter time and increases efficiency.
The platform includes an EMR, HIPAA complaint video- conferencing, notes that can be completed during the video session, customisable intake forms, scheduling and much more. To know further please email us at [email protected] or +1(617)909-4766.