Bridging Addiction and Mental Health Recovery

Dr. Brian Rush PhD

September 14th 10:50am-12:30pm Clipper Room

Abstract: Recovery has long been a key concept in both the addiction and mental health sectors. But does the concept of recovery in addictions mean the same thing as in the mental health field?

Recovery in both sectors has its roots in the advocacy of people with lived experience and their families, and includes a focus on hope in the face of stigma, self-determination, transformation, and the many dimensions of life (such as adequate housing, meanginul activities and connections, and freedom from discrimination).

While there are differing opinions in the addiction field as to whether abstinence is in fact a necessary condition for recovery, cure is generally not thought to be necessary for mental health recovery. This presentation will explore the implications of these convergences and divergences for the development of a shared vision for addiction and mental health recovery


1. To understand what the convergences between the recovery concept in the addiction and mental health sectors are, and how these convergences came about.
2. To understand where the recovery concept in the addiction and mental health sectors diverge, and why.
3. To explore – in both small and large group discussions – the implications of these convergences and divergences for the development of a shared vision for addiction and mental health recovery.

References: Davidson, L. & White, W. J (2007). The Concept of Recovery as an Organizing Principle for Integrating Mental Health and Addiction Services. Behav Health Serv Res (2007) 34: 109-120,
Mulvale, G. & Bartram, M. (2015). No More “Us” and “Them”: Integrating Recovery and Well-Being into a Conceptual Model for Mental Health Policy. Canadian Journal of Community Mental Health, 34:31-67,
McQuaid, R., Jesseman, R., & Rush, B.R. (in press). Examining Barriers as Risk Factors for Relapse: A Focus on the Canadian Treatment and Recovery System of Care. Canadian Journal on Addiction.
Jacobson, N., & Greenley, D. (2001). What Is Recovery? A Conceptual Model and Explication. Psychiatric Services, 52(4), 482–485.


Brian worked for over 38 years as a substance use/mental health researcher with the Centre for Addiction and Mental Health (CAMH) and retired to focus on a private consulting practice in 2013. He retains an honorary appointment in CAMH as Scientist Emeritus and is a Full Professor at the University of Toronto in both the Departments of Psychiatry and Public Health Sciences where he is still very active in graduate student supervision.

His work spans population health, needs-based planning, and evaluations of mental health and addictions treatment programs and treatment systems. Brian has led major research syntheses concerning treatment interventions and service and sector-level integration and collaborative care; developed provincial and regional performance measurement frameworks, including process and outcome monitoring for alcohol and drug treatment; developed and validated evaluation tools and protocols including outcome monitoring measures and tools to assess client and family members’ satisfaction with services received, and the evaluation of implementation strategies vis-à-vis evidence-informed practice. He has conducted major system reviews in Ontario, Nova Scotia, British Columbia and, most recently, Manitoba – work which keeps him firmly grounded in the issues of the day and people’s lived experience with mental health and addiction challenges, including their experience accessing assistance services and supports.

Recovery Capital Conference – Toronto 

September 13th and 14th, 2018

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 Recovery Capital Conference of Canada – Toronto Conference Centre

The Carlu
444 Yonge Street, 7th floor
Toronto ON M5B2H4