Guiding Principles


For over 30 years, Project Return has offered services to help people recovering from mental illnesses to live productive and fulfilling lives in the community.

 

Project Return's services are guided by a blend of recovery-based principles from psychosocial rehabilitation, the Fountain House and ICCD clubhouse model, occupational therapy, supportive housing, and other best practices and models. Our  services enhance and support the process of recovery.  Services offered are based on a strengths-based model of mental health, working with the whole person towards the life outcomes that they value, rather than treatment for symptoms of mental illness. People who join Project Return become members.  Members are employed by Project Return and are responsible for helping to operate the Center for Lifelong Education, Training, and Development and the Friendship Palms Housing Clubhouse.  

 

As a member of Project Return, members, in partnership with staff, may also create a plan to achieve their life outcomes. Members proceed with the plan at their own pace and may continue to utilize Project Return's services and resources with varying intensity for an indefinite period of time. 
 

"Nothing splendid has ever been achieved except by those who dared believe that something inside them was superior to circumstance"
--Bruce Barton


The following principles guide our services and actions:

 

PERSON NOT PATIENT

 

Participants in Project Return's services become members.  
Project Return focuses on the whole person rather than just on the illness or disability.

 


ABILITY NOT DISABILITY

Project Return focuses on members' abilities not their illnesses.

 


STRENGTHS NOT WEAKNESSES

Project Return focuses on members' strengths. 
Weaknesses are viewed as opportunities for learning and growth.
 

We believe that everyone has personal strengths that they should utilize.

 


SOCIAL MODEL NOT MEDICAL MODEL

Project Return values the power of human relationships.
We believe in having fun, sharing with others, learning from others, and enriching one's life through lifelong learning, work, and opportunities for personal growth.

 


CHOICE NOT COMPLIANCE

Services are determined by the wants and needs of the member, not the constraints and limitations of an imposed service system.
Members choose whether and how to participate in the services offered by Project Return.

Project Return offers members a variety of meaningful opportunities to choose from so that they can achieve their personal aspirations.

 


INDIVIDUALIZED SERVICES NOT COOKIE CUTTER SERVICES

Members select from a Menu of Services and participate in what is important to them.

Project Return provides a flexible service system with various types of services so that members can choose the services that they desire.

 


ACTIVE PARTNER NOT PASSIVE RECIPIENT

Project Return members take an active role in working with staff, family, and others towards achieving their goals and personal aspirations.
Caring and supportive staff members are available to facilitate and assist members in exploring their options, pursuing their interests, and achieving the life outcomes that they value.

Members must play an active role in the development of programs and services designed to assist them to reach their goals and have fulfilling lives.

Project Return is fully committed to consumer voice and participation.

 


ONGOING ACCESS TO SUPPORTS NOT TIME-LIMITED SERVICES

Project Return members pay a one-time 25 cent membership fee for lifetime membership at Project Return.  Most services are provided free of charge*.

Project Return believes that the success of our members rests on the fact that services and supports are available when needed and that friendly faces are always there with welcoming arms.


(*excludes rent at housing program, lunch and concession programs, and some field trips/special occasions)

 


DREAMS  NOT LIMITATIONS

Everyone has the right to dream and to strive to achieve personal aspirations. 
Project Return focuses on what members can and want to do, helping them to overcome barriers, and providing resources to help them reach their dreams!

 


SELF-DETERMINATION NOT DEPENDENCY

Project Return operates from a self-help premise.  Our job is to help our members to help themselves.  Members should rely on their abilities to make decisions and plans and to take responsbility for those courses of action.

Staff members are partners not paternalistic.

 


EASY ACCESS NOT BUREAUCRATIC ROADBLOCK

Access to services should be uncomplicated and eligibility requirements realistic.

Staff should be helpful to those persons seeking Project Return's services and knowledgeable of other service providers in the community.

 


RISK = OPPORTUNITY, NOT FAILURE

 

Consequences of various choices are opportunities for learning.  Project Return encourages members to take risks knowing that we will be a safety net and provide back-up support if needed.

 


CARING STAFF NOT PROFESSIONAL DISTANCE

Staff and members share an adult-to-adult relationship that is founded in mutual respect.  Staff members are committed, available, welcoming, sincere, respectful, supportive, caring, hopeful, positive, responsive, and involved.

 


PRODUCTIVITY AND MEANINGFUL ACTIVITY

Everyone can live a productive and fulfilling life. This means something different for each of us. Project Return helps members identify and pursue what is meaningful to them.

 


ANSWERS NOT EXCUSES

Project Return is dedicated to providing support and meaningful activities through our specialized services, those of other service providers, generic resources provided to the community at large, and natural supports. 

 

We encourage members and will assist them to reach out and explore other resources in the community while providing the reassurance that Project Return will always be their place in the community.  A place that they can return to as needed or wanted.

 


HOPE

Project Return hopes and believes that people can recover their lives and be productive members of the community.

 


THE QUALITY OF OUR WORK IS MEASURED BY OUR MEMBERS' QUALITY OF LIFE

Our success is measured by our members' quality of life.  Project Return strives to help members live better lives through helping them achieve the life outcomes that they value.  

 

Charateristics of psychosocial rehabilitation are taken from "Perceptions of consumers, practitioners, and experts regarding psychosocial rehabilitation principles" by R.A. Cnaan, L. Blankertz, M. Saunders, Pstchosocial Journal 1992; 16(1); 93-119.