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Family Inclusion Competencies
for Practicing Psychiatrists

With increasing recognition and acceptance of the benefits of family inclusion in the recovery of individuals who have mental health and co-occurring disorders, OMHSAS supports the document created by the PA Psychiatric Leadership Council “Family Inclusion Competencies for Practicing Psychiatrists”. OMHSAS has determined that family inclusion is consistent with the recovery principals and will have positive effects as family and significant person’s inclusion in treatment and services are implemented in the community. This position is supported by the New Freedom Commission (2003) and the Surgeons General’s Report on Mental Health (DHHS, 1999). OMHSAS encourages practicing psychiatrists to review the recommendations included in the attached document and incorporate these recommendations into their practice.

In 2008, the Pennsylvania Psychiatric Leadership Council formed a family committee to identify barriers to family-focused care and how best to provide guidance early in a psychiatrist’s training/experience to include families in the adult services recovery process. The committee was comprised of psychiatrists, social workers from the clinical practice and academic settings, as well as family members of persons in recovery and community advocates. Based on research as well as personal and professional experiences, a family subcommittee of the Pennsylvania Psychiatric Leadership Council developed Family Inclusion Competencies. These competencies were approved by the full membership of the council in November 2009. The Family Inclusion Competencies are now a professional guide in the council's efforts in supporting the expanding leadership roles that psychiatrists in Pennsylvania bring to the recovery process.