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What is a Recovery Coach?

Recovery Coach 19 May 2021

Have you met Jacob, one of MCM's Recovery Coaches?

Sometimes it's nice to put a face to a name! Jacob, one of MCM's Recovery Coaches talks about recovery coaching, what it is and what our participants with a psychosocial disability can expect from a Recovery Coach.

Read on to find out what Jacob has to say.

What is a Recovery Coach?

Recovery Coach is an NDIS funded support for people with a primary disability of mental health. It combines the principles of recovery-orientated practice with coaching principles with the aim of assisting participants to take more control of their lives and to better manage the complex challenges of day-to-day living. Recovery Coaches will work with participants collaboratively to assist them to live a full and meaningful life.

How do qualified Recovery Coaches offer support to people who are experiencing a mental health illness?

Recovery Coaches offer support by first developing a strong rapport and trust with each participant, and by getting an understanding of each participant’s unique circumstances. Mental illness is experienced in a variety of ways and can impact many aspects of people’s lives, so Recovery Coaches will be supporting participants by developing plans and strategies catered to each individual’s needs. Communication will play an important role in taking a collaborative approach to supporting our participants, while working towards goals that are set by our participants.

What does a typical day of a Recovery Coach look like?

As Recovery Coach is a relatively new service being offered by both the NDIS and MCM, the day to day life of recovery coaching is evolving into something exciting!

I’ve met some fantastic people already and I’m sure I’ll meet many more. A usual day has involved speaking to participants and their support network to take steps towards their set goals. Recovery coaching is expected to be a face-to-face role where coaches have regular meetings with their participants to build capacity and independence, and provide the support required to work towards reater goals. Due to COVID-19 restrictions in Victoria in 2020, many of these meetings were set up as telehealth appointments and we continue to provide this option. A workday is filled with spending time with participants (face-to-face or telehealth) to work together to achieve their goals.

Why is it important that MCM is a provider of this service, especially in the current COVID-19 climate?

COVID-19 has brought on a lot of new challenges and daily stressors for people that they’ve never faced before. People’s mental health is something that has been deeply affected by the pandemic, and the uncertainty we face with our health and our economic viability is certainly unprecedented. However, it’s important to recognise that our mental health can bounce back and that we will return to normal living someday soon. This is why recovery coaching at MCM is a vital service for the community, as recovery coaches aim to instil resilience and hope in our participants, and to recover mental health to an optimal level of functioning and capacity. As Victoria has been the most effected state by COVID-19, MCM will be able to assist Victorians recover from the pandemic from a mental health perspective.

How can a Recovery Coach help people living with a disability live a life of independence?

The support recovery coaches give will always come from a place of hope and will encourage participants to take a positive view toward recovery and mental health. Participants set their own goals and choose which community settings they wish to engage with, enabling them to have greater choice and control and gain further independence. With our support, recovery coaches will aim to make their engagements with social and community activities as positive as possible.

If you could describe why you do this work or why you’ve chosen this career path, what would you say?

I wanted to work in the mental health space because I believe mental and psychological wellbeing is extremely important. I’m very passionate about improving people’s mental health and helping them become happier and healthier. I think historically mental health had been a taboo topic in the way it was spoken about and treated in care settings, even still I think society as a whole has a lot of progress to make in the language we use in regard to mental illness. This is why I want to work in this field, so I can assist people and treat them as a person, and not treat them as a mental illness or treat them as if they now have a label because they have a mental illness diagnosis. I’m excited to be working for Melbourne City Mission in this relatively new role, so I’m looking forward to developing the role and hopefully impact my participants in a helpful and meaningful way.

If you or someone you support is interested in our Recovery Coach service, please contact our Customer Service Team on 1800 343 287 or send us an enquiry.

Find out more about MCM’s Recovery Coach service.

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