A growing body of knowledge demonstrates the significance of peer support and peer to peer services for individuals recovering from mental illness. Such consumer led groups are found to enhance the sense of well being on the part of members and result in better treatment outcomes (Campbell, 2004). In 2003, based on her first hand knowledge of the mental health consumer
movement and personal history with mental illness, Ms. Janet Paleo developed Focus for Life® in partnership with Anna H. Gray. Through their own recovery and that of other consumer leaders, they recognized self-direction and self responsibility as essential components of recovery. Focus for Life® is a program that empowers people to find their pathway to recovery; providing access to a full and fulfilled life.
The Focus for Life® curriculum was developed and designed to meet the need to offer a path to recovery and wellness based on the components of salutogenesis (Antonovsky, 1996), where the training focuses on building personal strengths and developing wellness resulting in resiliency. Salutogenesis focuses on factors that support human health, well-being, and the origin of health rather than the origin of illness and disease. Key elements of salutogenesis are "the orientation towards problem-solving and the capacity to use the resources available" (Lindstrom & Eriksson, 2005, p. 440). A person who has this ability to take in the whole situation and move towards health is seen as having a Sense of Coherence, a sense of comprehensibility, meaningfulness, and manageability.
The Focus for Life® curriculum fosters an increased sense of coherence and quality of life for
program participants. The program offers:
All classes begin at 8:30 am and end at 4:30 pm except for the third day which may end at 5 pm depending on the size of the class.
Classes qualify for 20 hours of CEU credit for Certified Peer Specialists and Certified Family Partners in Texas.
Focus for LIfe