“In essence, Positive Approaches is a worldview, in which all individuals are treated with dignity and respect, in which all are entitled to Everyday Lives.”
−Beth Barol, 1996
The first issue of the Positive Approaches Journal was published in the summer of 1996 and focused on positive approaches in four main domains, environment, communication, assessment and “hanging in there.” In the 23 years since that first edition, we have rebalanced our system so that most people are served in community versus facility settings. During this time, we have also witnessed significant advances in our understanding of trauma, brain development, genetics and treatment options. In spite of these advances, the lessons from that first edition of the journal still hold relevance for us today because, as a system, we still face challenges in supporting people with co-occurring intellectual or developmental disability and a serious mental illness to live Everyday Lives.
As our service systems continue to move away from institutional and congregate care and toward supporting people to be fully engaged in their communities, the need to revive the Positive Approaches Journal became clear to us. People who have dual diagnoses, face some of the greatest challenges for true inclusion and being connected with their communities. We need to work together to develop best practices and appropriate services and supports. The Positive Approaches Journal is part of a broad effort to build this capacity and support best practice in service delivery for people with dual diagnosis. The Journal will also allow us to share, communicate and collaborate as we address this very important issue.
We are eager for the submissions that will come from practitioners and theorists here in Pennsylvania that will drive innovation at all levels in our service systems. It is truly very exciting to begin publishing the Positive Approaches Journal again. It is with great pleasure that we present, to you, the Volume 9, Issue 3 Positive Approaches Journal.
Office of Developmental Programs
Office of Mental Health and
Substance Abuse Services