[Podcast] The Intersection of Mental Health and Addiction

Mike Massey has been facilitating SMART Recovery Online (SROL) meetings since 2013.  His professional experience as a former teacher and union leader, as well as his personal experience with substance use, gave him the skills and abilities to help meeting participants.  When many of the participants said they also were dealing with a mental health disorder, he struggled with how best to help them and decided there needed to be a reference guide for facilitators on how to handle this aspect of recovery.  So, he and several others created one: Facilitator Best Practices for Addressing Mental Health Disorders and Suicide in SMART Recovery Meetings.

In this podcast, Mike talks about:

  • What led to writing the Facilitator Best Practices for Addressing Mental Health Disorders and Suicide in SMART Recovery Meetings
  • Most facilitators are not experts or professional therapists, but should have a familiarity with mental health disorders
  • People coming to the meeting for hope and inspiration
  • Reframing the terms of mental health
  • Two types of stigma – self and society
  • Searching for patterns and reasons for addictions
  • Asking participants, “What do you need to get through this?”
  • The mystery and magic of being in a meeting
  • Doing a better job of helping others help themselves
  • How to handle the mention of suicide
  • Contributors in writing the guide, including the QPR Institute
  • Finding the guide on VolunteerHQ

Additional resources:

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If you are interested in addiction recovery support, we encourage you to visit the SMART Recovery website.


If you or someone you love is in great distress and considering self-harm, please call 911 for immediate help, or reach out to The National Suicide Prevention Hotline @ 800-273-8255, https://suicidepreventionlifeline.org/

We look forward to you joining the conversation!

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