Social rehabilitation in use for decades

By February 15, 2011

I appreciated your Feb. 9 front-page article “Psychiatrist talks about real recovery” in which Dr. Mark Ragins describes his approach to working with people with psychiatric disabilities. I’ve heard Dr. Ragins speak and have read several of his articles — indeed, he has made major contributions to the field of mental health by framing and advancing the recovery approach to wellness.

In addition to acknowledging Dr. Ragins and his work, I feel it is important to point out that since the mid-1970s, in Davis, Yolo County and throughout the state, thousands of dedicated people have practiced a social rehabilitation approach, long before the term recovery was in use. They may not have had M.D. or Ph.D. after their names, but their humane, people-first/diagnosis-second way of helping people with serious psychiatric problems was groundbreaking and I believe helped pave the way for programs like The Village and practitioners like Dr. Ragins.

I want to thank everyone, well known and unknown, for their dedicated and tireless efforts to help our fellow citizens facing major psychiatric challenges.

Steve Ekstrom


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