Community Recovery Capital

Forest Collage
Forest Collage (Photo credit: zebble)

This weekend is the fist time I recall seeing Bill White discuss the concept of community recovery capital. I’ve heard him discuss community recovery and the ecology of recovery, but I think I must have missed community recovery capital.

The prognosis for community recovery is influenced by the ratio between problem prevalence, severity, and complexity and the level of community recovery capital (the scope and quality of resources that can be mobilized to initiate and sustain a community recovery and revitalization process).

There are multiple pathways and styles of community recovery and renewal, with most including emergence of a new recovery-based community identity (story).

Sustainable community recovery engages multiple community institutions in a process whose results can be measured in reductions of community pathology, but are best measured in long-term increases in community recovery capital.

Community recovery elevates the prognosis for personal/family recovery by elevating external recovery capital; creating the physical, psychological and cultural space where recovery can flourish; and increasing the density of recovery carriers (persons who convey infectious hope and guidance for recovery initiation/maintenance) within the community.

This is exciting to me because it has the potential to mitigate the concerns I raised last week about the potential for recovery capital to become a proxy for class.
Here’s Bill describing the concept of a healing forest:

One of the most riveting metaphors emerging from the Native American Wellbriety movement is that of the Healing Forest (Coyhis & White, 2002). In this metaphor, the clinical treatment of addiction is seen as analogous to digging up a sick and dying tree, transplanting it into an environment of rich soil, sunshine, water, and fertilizer only to return it to its original deprived location once its health has been restored and subsequently lost again. What is called for in this metaphor is treating the soil—creating a Healing Forest within which the health of the individual, family, neighborhood, community, and beyond are simultaneously elevated. The Healing Forest is a community in recovery.

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