What is the goal of depression treatment? At a minimum, treatment should alleviate symptoms. Increasingly, however, people living with depression, their families, and their providers should expect more, that optimal care should result in both abatement of symptoms and recovery of function. That is to say, people with depression should be able to live their lives in a way that is symptom-free and allows them to participate in their chosen life activities and relationships.
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Paolo del Vecchio, M.S.W.
Director, Center for Mental Health Services
Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA)
For more than 40 years, I have been involved in behavioral health as a consumer, family member, provider, advocate, and now policymaker.
The thread throughout my journey has been opportunity and hope. Over the years, I’ve learned that it is community that provides opportunity, and it is in community that we find hope.
I am pleased to participate in this forum to share stories of recovery and spread the message that recovery is not only possible, it is the expected outcome of services, supports, and treatment. Together, through our shared experiences and with our collective voice, we can change the conversation on mental health and increase awareness of the possibility of recovery.
My Recovery Story
My own story is deeply rooted in the healing power of community. I experienced mental illness early in my childhood.
As a child, I experienced trauma by witnessing domestic violence and alcoholism in the family. As a result, I became withdrawn, depressed and anxious. And, I was alone.