Community Support System

The CSP Wheel

csp_wheelThe CSP Wheel is a visual representation of the idea that there needs to be a Community Support System in place in order for persons coping with serious or ongoing mental health diagnosis to reach their full potential,

The Community Support System concept was developed to identify essential elements needed for a person with a mental illness to be able to move toward recovery, a quality life and integration into the community.

The Center Circle:
People can and do recover from mental illness is the essential message.

The center circle of the CSP Wheel portrays recovery as a multi-dimensional concept. Hope is the anchor point upon which recovery is based. Demonstrating respect for the individual supports his or her hopefulness and nurtures the person’s self-esteem. When people convey trust in the individual, it strengthens the individual’s confidence and motivation to assume increased responsibility for taking control of one’s own life.

The eight factors listed on the Wheel are important antecedents for Recovery:

  • Hope
  • Competence
  • Respect
  • Trust
  • Understanding
  • Wellness
  • Choice
  • Spirituality

The Middle Circle – The CSP Principles are portrayed in the Wheel’s middle circle and provide the bedrock for the way service system components are designed, implemented and delivered.

When community supports and treatment service systems are designed using the lens of the CSP Principles they support the recovery process.

The Outer Circle – The outer circle portrays the fundamental Components of a Community Support System.

These components are essential resources in recovery:

  • Treatment and support
  • Family and friends
  • Peer support
  • Meaningful work
  • Income support
  • Community mobility
  • Community groups and organizations
  • Protection and advocacy
  • Psychiatric rehabilitation
  • Leisure and recreation
  • Education
  • Housing
  • Health care

The representation of a Community Support System as “Wheel” is fitting. Like a real wheel whose integrity and function becomes impaired if spokes are missing, an individual’s recovery becomes hindered if any aspects of the community support system are lacking or missing altogether.

One function of a CSP committee can be to evaluate the community support system components in their county and advocate in areas where there are inadequate supports and services.

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