Written By Vilma Salauskaite

I haven’t heard much of that term “equity” being used lately. Here’s a little something I found on SAMHSA page:

Behavioral Health Equity is the right to access quality health care for all populations regardless of the individual’s race, ethnicity, gender, socioeconomic status, sexual orientation, or geographical location. This includes access to prevention, treatment, and recovery services for mental and substance use disorders.

Advancing health equity involves ensuring that everyone has a fair and just opportunity to be as healthy as possible. This also applies to behavioral health. In conjunction with quality services, this involves addressing social determinants, such as employment and housing stability, insurance status, proximity to services, culturally responsive care – all of which have an impact on behavioral health outcomes.

Some of us have been through the Community Inclusion training with Dr. Mark Salzer from Temple University and Matthew Federici from the Copeland Center. The main point of the training for me was engaging with people in all different stages of recovery rather than waiting to get well. The longer people put their lives on hold, the harder it is for them to get back to active participation in the community.

In BestNow! I learned that recovery is non-linear. It isn’t a step-by-step process but one based on continual growth, occasional setbacks and learning from experience. Recovery builds on people’s strengths and mutual support plays an invaluable role.

Mutuality is one of the principles of Intentional Peer Support training.
We observe the Values in Ethics in WRAP®, i.e. In WRAP® groups and programs, people are always treated as equals, with dignity, compassion, mutual respect, and unconditional high regard; as unique, special individuals, including complete acceptance of diversity with relation to culture, ethnicity, language, religion, race, gender, age, disability, sexual identity, and “readiness” issues.