The Psychiatric Rehabilitation Association
The psychiatric rehabilitation organization which focuses on the development and training of the recovery workforce for psychiatric patients. This organization is responsible for developing, supporting and disseminating information that pertains to the recovery and rehabilitation of psychiatric patients. When it was formed in 1975, under the name the United States Psychiatric Rehabilitation Association (USPRA), it set the benchmark for psychiatric and psychosocial rehabilitation of patients, establishing a community based treatment model that ultimately became the primary source for knowledge, learning and research of psychiatric rehabilitation. The organization currently represents over 8,000 psychiatric rehab experts as well as 1,300 organizational and individual members.
PRA is a national organization with numerous chapters throughout the United States. The organization however adopts a uniform set of values that generally govern the scope and depth of its operations. PRA is generally founded on concepts of human dignity, where individuals recovering from mental illnesses should be provided with the best possible professional care. The organization’s mission is the growth and training of the recovery workforce for psychiatric patients. The organization’s vision is a world in which persons with mental illness recuperate to realize fruitful and satisfying lives through their environment (learning, working and social).
PRA conducts its operations with the guiding principle that the psychiatric rehabilitation results in the recovery of mentally ill persons. As such, the organization is dedicated to the quantity and quality of psychiatric rehabilitation. Furthermore, the organization is dedicated to the making high quality rehabilitation services universally available. The organization achieves this by defining psychiatric rehabilitation using three elements, (1) recovery, (2) community integration, and (3) improved life quality. This is complemented by the ideology that psychiatric rehabilitation is a process that is collaborative, Individualized and person-directed.
The organization’s website lists a number of resources that are crucial for psychiatric recovery practitioners. One of the most significant resources is the CPRP Exam Blueprint. This blueprint provides detailed information on the domains which the CPRP exam focuses on.
The organization currently has affiliates and chapters in more than 25 states. They include the following;
- Arizona Psychiatric Rehabilitation Association (AZPRA)
- California Association of Social Rehabilitation Agencies (CASRA)
- Florida Psychiatric Rehabilitation Association (FLPRA)
- Massachusetts Psychiatric Rehabilitation Association (MassPRA)
- Community Behavioral Health Association of Maryland (MDCBH)
- Psychosocial Rehabilitation Association of New Mexico (PSRANM)
- Idaho Psychiatric Rehabilitation Association (IPRA)
- New Jersey Psychiatric Rehabilitation Association (NJPRA)
- Kentucky Psychiatric Rehabilitation Association (KYPRA)
- Pennsylvania Association of Psychiatric Rehabilitation Services (PAPSRS)
- New York Association of Psychiatric Rehabilitation Services (NYAPRS)
- Virginia Psychiatric Rehabilitation Association (VAPRA)
- PRA – Connecticut, Inc.
- PRA – Georgia, Inc.
- PRA – Illinois, Inc.
- PRA – Iowa, Inc.
- PRA – Louisiana, Inc.
- PRA – Maine, Inc.
- PRA – Michigan, Inc.
- PRA – North Carolina, Inc.
- PRA – Ohio, Inc.
- PRA – South Carolina, Inc.
- PRA – Tennessee, Inc.
- PRA – West Virginia, Inc.
Training Offered Through PRA
PRA currently offers the training and continuation of education for practitioners through the Academy of Psychiatric Rehabilitation and Recovery (APRR). The academy offers extensive training that involved psychiatric rehabilitation, management and leadership. APRR currently offers education and training in three areas;
- Whole Career Practitioner Training & Continuing Education
- Whole Career Leadership Training & Development
- Special Topics & Electives in Recovery
The organization offers certification to psychiatric rehabilitation professionals using two forms of certification (1) the CPRP (Certified Psychiatric Practitioner) and (2) the CPRC (Children Psychiatric Rehabilitation Certificate). The CPRP is a certification program that is test-based and has been developed to indicate the competency of psychiatric recovery practitioner working in adult mental health. The CPRP exam focuses on seven domains of competency. They include;
- Interpersonal Competencies
- Professional Role Competencies
- Community Integration
- Strategies for Facilitating Recovery
- Assessment, Planning, and Outcomes
- Systems Competencies
- Supporting Health & Wellness
The organization also offers the CPRC, which is an educational program that develops material for and trains practitioners who work with children. Their training helps both the children and the families that they encounter in the course of executing their duties. The PRA is currently looking to develop the CPRC program to a certification program that is test-based. However, this is only after a detailed job task analysis.
PRA promotes advocacy for the concepts and ideologies of recovery, community integration and psychiatric rehabilitation. The organization mainly advocates its vision mission and goals to the Congress and its members, governmental agencies and the government. This is mainly done to secure funding support, as well as regulatory support and federal support (through federal laws). The organization represents the recovery workforce through the PRA Public Policy Initiatives. This is mainly focused on the training and expansion of the workforce.
The organization has two types of impact-focused advocacy. State advocacy is conducted in conjunction with the organizations chapters, pushing for the adoption of the PRA and CPRP credentials. Federal advocacy entail and evidence-based approach towards lobbying for regulations and laws that can substantially impact the profession. The organization also has 4 year-round public policy activities that include (1) the Public Policy Committee, (2) Annual Conference, (3) Hill Day, and (4) the PsyR Connection and Recovery Update newsletter.
Educational and Employment Stance
The organization understands and underpins the inherent need for quality psychiatric recovery services. As such, the organization has a generally open and positive stance towards vocational training and career development. However, this policy especially applies for individuals seeking the CPRC, as it has no requirements for individuals seeking to become practitioners.
Psychiatric Rehabilitation Association (PRA). (2015, March 10). Psychiatric Rehabilitation Association. Retrieved July 12, 2015, from PsychRehabAssociation.org: http://www.psychrehabassociation.org/
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