September 25, 2013-RSVP Conference - Mental Health and Recovery Board of Ashland County

Crisis Hotline: (419) 289-6111

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September 25, 2013-RSVP Conference


On September 25th, 2013 the Mental Health & Recovery Board (MHRB) of Ashland County hosted the 6th Annual Respect, Success, Value, Purpose (R.S.V.P.) Conference at the Ashland University Convocation Center. Along with the Mental Health & Recovery Board of and Wayne/Holmes counties, the MHRB of Ashland has established a conference that continues to promote recovery from mental illness. The R.S.V.P. conference is just one of several activities supported by the MHRB of Ashland County to develop, promote and implement a recovery-oriented system of care for the county.

In the early fall of 2007 discussions between, Consumer Advocate Patrick Risser advocates and consumers of mental health services and Steven Stone, the Executive Director of the MHRB of Ashland County focused on the development of a regional conference that would promote the hopeful and very real concept of recovery from mental illness. While there were numerous conferences around the state, there was a lack of events focused on recovery in the Ashland area. Within months the small group discussions turned into a formal steering/planning committee for the fledgling conference. One of the differences between the steering/planning committee of R.S.V.P. compared to other conference committees was the strong presence of current and past recipients of mental health services. As was stated often, who better to plan a conference focused on helping persons struggling with mental illness than those who have been struggling?

After months of discussion, planning and deliberation, September 2008 saw the 1st Annual R.S.V.P. Conference come to fruition. Over 125 people attended and the feedback was very positive. Each year subsequent, the steering/planning committee has grown the conference by inviting speakers that believe passionately in recovery and who can speak to targeted audiences within the community that are needed as partners for a recovery-oriented system of care to be realized. In addition to being a driving force behind the R.S.V.P. conference, the MHRB of Ashland County has implemented the following changes to further reflect the principles of recovery and to ensure its continued growth:

  • Formally adopted the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration’s (SAMHSA) Consensus Statement on Recovery (2006);
  • Changed the Board’s Mission, Vision and Values statements to better reflect a recovery philosophy (2006);
  • Included an emphasis on a person-centered recovery based approaches to services in the agency application guidelines each year, beginning in 2006;
  • Provide nationally recognized experts in person-centered recovery to address our community at the Board’s Annual Dinner and through other organized events;
  • Facilitated a round-table discussion with mental health and substance use providers and award winning author Robert Whitaker to discuss his latest book (‘Anatomy of an Epidemic) and the role of medications in recovery (2010);
  • Revised the Board’s advocacy message and education/awareness materials to ensure that these materials are aligned with a philosophy of person-centered recovery;
  • Executive Director attended the ‘Oregon Conference’ which brought together leaders of the recovery movement from around the country to discuss strategies to move recovery efforts forward, identified 4 key policy points around the use of psychiatric medications and provided evidence based resources in key areas of recovery (2010); and
  • The Board formally adopted the “Medication Optimization, Choice, and Alternatives: A Statement from Peers in the Consumer/Survivor Recovery Movement”(2010)

Developing and sustaining an environment where persons struggling with mental health issues can receive hopeful, respectful and research-based treatment is a long term commitment of the MHRB of Ashland. In the coming months and years, the Board will continue to make further strides towards achieving a recovery oriented system of care in the county. Please join the Board and other community partners for the sixth annual R.S.V.P. conference next September.

 “[Recovery is] a deeply personal, unique process of changing one’s attitudes, values, feelings, goals, skills and roles. It is a way of living a satisfying, hopeful and contributing life, even with the limitations caused by illness. Recovery involves the development of new meaning and purpose in one’s life as one grows beyond the catastrophic effects of mental illness…"  (Anthony, 1993)

Mental Health and Recovery Board of Ashland County

1605 CR 1095, Ashland, OH 44805
Office: (419) 281-3139
Fax: (419) 281-4988
Crisis : (419) 289-6111



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