Family Engagement: Joining Your Loved One on The Path to Recovery

Written on by Maria Miller

On January 20, 2022, Voice and Vision, Inc. will host What is Family Engagement?, a webinar to share the latest in best practice for family involvement in recovery. The webinar will provide an opportunity for family members and others to ask questions related to this very positive message: family engagement in recovery results in better outcomes. As evident shown in the responses to our question in the graphic above and the many family members who provided content for Help and Hope—families WANT to help and need information. We also invite providers to come and share the strategies they use to engage families and to gain further insight into why family engagement is such a key component for progress.

In developing the second book in our Help and Hope series on substance use, the message from family members was clear as they confirmed there is a Growing Need to Know. What was their message? Get engaged, get informed, and get help. Though we meant that subtitle to signify the value of prevention, families shared the ongoing need for knowledge and that assistance does not end when a family member enters treatment and is seeking recovery supports.

Once family members “subdue the mental storm” (p. 57), how can they contribute in real, positive, and concrete ways to be a genuine support to their family member’s recovery? Trish Caldwell will discuss the family’s role in “the process of change” (p. 123) and discuss areas where families fill key roles, like assisting their family member in accessing treatment and advocacy. She will share areas where families may need additional supports to understand complicated aspects of treatment; for example, understanding the disease of addiction and policies related to privacy.

One of the foundational objectives of the Help and Hope books is to present not only the answers to questions for family members, but the questions as well because many family members feel uninformed, confused, and sometimes overwhelmed. This webinar should provide a framework for forming targeted questions if you are at the point to begin your quest for answers or to take a fresh perspective on how you can support your loved one. Another foundational principle is peer support: connecting with other family members is emotionally reassuring, can increase one’s confidence, and can serve as powerful motivation to follow through with advocating for your family member. Kathleen Morris Rosati will join us to share her personal experience as a family member and be on hand to answer participants’ questions. Trish Caldwell says it so well: “When families have knowledge, they can help spread the message of HOPE and reconnect to those who feel lost.” (p. 124)

Graphic (page 93) and quotes are taken from Help and Hope: From Families Who Have Walked the Walk, Substance Use: The Growing Need to Know, 2020.

This blog was written by guest author, Maria MillerMaria is the editor of the “Help and Hope: From Families who have Walked the Walk” book series. She also works as a Team Leader for Independent Monitoring for Quality. Maria is a wife and the mother of three. She has written additional blogs, such as “9 Lessons from the Farm,” sharing what she has learned from her daughter’s 10 years of riding lessons on a farm, and “A Chance to Grow,” which was about her experience working on our second guide, “Help and Hope: From Families Who Have Walked the Walk, Substance Use: The Growing Need to Know.”

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