The Mental Illness Awareness Week blog, sharing stories of recovery, personal experiences, and mental health/mental illness news.


Member Blog: Psychosocial Rehabilitation (PSR) Canada

Psychosocial Rehabilitation (PSR) Réadaptation Psychosociale (RPS) Canada promotes psychosocial rehabilitation principles and the growth of psychosocial rehabilitation practices and programs in Canada. As such, PSR/RPS Canada is a leader in the transformation of mental health services in this country.  
PSR/RPS Canada is a young organization, being formed in 2001 as the result of an amicable split from the parent organization, the International Association of Psychosocial Rehabilitation Services (IAPSRS).
PSR/RPS Canada also has Chapters in BC, Manitoba, Ontario and Nova Scotia. It is also developing a good relationship with AQRP in Quebec.
PSR/RPS Canada members include practitioners, people with lived experience, their families and administrators, policy makers, researchers and educators.

What are PSR Principles?

Psychosocial rehabilitation (also termed psychiatric rehabilitation or PSR) promotes personal recovery, successful community integration and satisfactory quality of life for persons who have a mental illness or mental health concern.  Psychosocial rehabilitation services and supports are collaborative, person directed, and individualized, and an essential element of the human services spectrum.  They focus on helping individuals develop skills and access resources needed to increase their capacity to be successful and satisfied in the living, working, learning and social environments of their choice and include a wide continuum of services and supports. 

What are PSR Practices?

Psychosocial rehabilitation (PSR) approaches include programs, services and practices with well documented effectiveness in facilitating the recovery of persons living with serious mental illness. PSR approaches focus on programs and practices involving   the major life domains of employment, education, leisure, wellness, housing, family and peer support.
Specific examples of approaches include supported employment, supported education, supported housing, illness management and recovery, integrated approaches for concurrent disorders, and ACT Teams. PSR approaches are enhanced in their effectiveness by other treatment approaches and practices, including cognitive retraining, cognitive behaviour therapies and motivational interviewing.
Because of their effectiveness and recovery orientation, PSR approaches are important not only to individuals and their families but also to strategies and initiatives to transform mental health and programs and services in the United States and Canada. ACT Teams, for example when operated with fidelity reliably reduce the emergency psychiatric hospitalization rate in their service areas.
Supported housing and supported employment also significantly reduce emergency psychiatric hospitalization. Accordingly, these and other PSR approaches are important tools for recovery as well as in the transformation to effective, recovery oriented mental health systems and services in Canada which is a major goal of the Mental Health Strategy.

PSR Competencies and Education:

To facilitate the adoption of PSR approaches, it is important that practitioner competencies for PSR and recovery oriented approaches be identifies and become the basis for practitioner education and professional development programs. PSR/RPS Canada is currently doing this work to define   PSR competencies as well as promoting and providing PSR education and professional development.
There are currently three college programs in PSR in Canada, offered by Humber College, Toronto, Mohawk College, Hamilton and Douglas College in New Westminster.


Members have access to two excellent journals: Psychiatric Rehabilitation Journal and the Canadian Journal of Community Mental Health.