Skip to main content

Recovery – Our Philosophy of Behavioral Health Services

Recovery – Our Philosophy of Behavioral Health Services

Behavioral Health and Recovery Division

Two women talking on a couch

The Behavioral Health and Recovery Division (BHRD) believes in the philosophy of individualized, holistic, continuous, coordinated, and comprehensive care.

These change efforts are fully supported by King County Council through a series of County ordinances.

Title 2.43 of the King County Code states that today’s behavioral health system shall be based on the goals and principles of recovery and resiliency within a trauma-informed framework. A trauma-informed, recovery and resiliency focused system offers respect, information, connection and hope.

The behavioral health system shall:

  1. Reach out to and engage individuals at-risk due to behavioral health conditions;
  2. Focus on the whole person, including strengths, capabilities, and aspirations;
  3. Ensure behavioral health is integrated with physical health;
  4. Reduce the stigma experienced by people with behavioral health disorders;
  5. Assist individuals to pursue activities in the community, rather than the clinical setting, to foster full integration in the community;
  6. Develop and involve natural support, including peer, family and community support; and
  7. Identify and implement best practices, both promising and evidence-based.

BHRD is proud to partner with behavioral health agencies and allied systems in King County to build a recovery and resiliency-oriented system, within a trauma-informed, integrated healthcare framework.


 10 Guiding Principles of Recovery

  • Recovery emerges from hope
  • Recovery is based on respect
  • Recovery is person-driven
  • Recovery occurs via many pathways
  • Recovery is holistic
  • Recovery is supported by peers and allies
  • Recovery is supported through relationships and social networks
  • Recovery is culturally-based and influenced
  • Recovery is supported by addressing trauma
  • Recovery involves individual, family, and community strengths and responsibility

Learn More About Our Approach

Through a stakeholder process, the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) developed a working definition and set of principles for behavioral health recovery:

A process of change through which individuals improve their health and wellness, live a self-directed life, and strive to reach their full potential.

This definition does not describe recovery as an end state, but rather as a process. Complete symptom remission is neither a prerequisite of recovery nor a necessary outcome of the process. Recovery can have many pathways that may include professional clinical treatment; use of medications; support from families and in schools; faith-based approaches; peer support; and other approaches.

There are four major dimensions that support a life in recovery:

Overcoming or managing one’s health challenges as well as making informed healthy choices that support physical and emotional well-being.

Living in a safe and stable environment.

Having meaningful daily activities, such as a job, school, volunteerism, family caretaking or creative endeavors, and the independence, income, and resources to participate in society.

Nurturing relationships and social networks that provide support, friendship, love and hope.

The County identified that a critical principle of behavioral health recovery is resiliency across the lifespan. This was specifically noted as essential by family members, providers and parent partners that serve children, youth, and families.

Resiliency is an inner capacity that when nurtured, facilitated and supported by others empowers people, including children, youth and families, to successfully meet life’s challenges with a sense of self-determination, mastery and hope.

National and local data suggest that the majority of individuals and families who seek behavioral health services have histories of trauma. A recovery and resiliency-oriented behavioral health system actively addresses the link between trauma and behavioral health issues.

It is best practice for behavioral health providers to implement universal trauma screening and trauma-informed approaches that adhere to SAMHSA’s six key principles:

  1. Safety
  2. Trustworthiness and Transparency
  3. Peer Support
  4. Collaboration and Mutuality
  5. Empowerment, Voice and Choice
  6. Cultural, Historical and Gender Context.

Contact Us

Phone 206-263-9000

TTY Relay: 711

Fax: 206-296-0583