Illness Management and Recovery (IMR)

Richard Fisher, 860-262-5063,

Note:   While several programs and providers have opted to use the language ofWellness Self-Management (WSM), SAMHSA still utilizes the terminology of Illness Management and Recovery (IMR) which is referenced throughout this website.  However, there are links pertaining to Wellness Self-Management (WSM) below.

Illness Management and Recovery (IMR) is a series of weekly sessions with a specially trained mental health practitioner. Consumers learn how to develop their own personal strategies for coping with mental illness and moving forward in their life. The sessions are in an individual or group format and last between 3 to 6 months.

There are specific goals of the IMR. The first goal is that consumers learn about mental illness and strategies for treatment. Second, the goal is to see a reduction in symptoms, relapses and rehospitalizations. Last, making progress towards their goals and toward recovery are important outcomes of the program.

During IMR, consumers receive educational handouts, planning sheets and checklists. Consumers apply the contents of the handouts to develop their own strategies for managing mental illness and setting and achieving goals. Consumers have opportunities to practice their own personalized strategies in the sessions and in everyday life.

What will be learned:

  1. Recovery strategies
  2. Facts about mental illness
  3. The stress-vulnerability model and treatment strategies
  4. Building social support
  5. Reducing relapses
  6. Using medication effectively
  7. Coping with stress
  8. Coping with problems and symptoms
  9. Getting your needs met in the mental health system
Info for Family Members:
Family members can help their loved one by reading the educational handouts that are used in the program and reviewing the handouts with the consumer. Also, attending some of the sessions with the consumer may be helpful. Lastly. Family members can help their loved one by helping develop and implement plans for coping with symptoms, reducing relapses and pursuing recovery goals.
* Adapted from the State of Hawaii Evidence Based Practices Implementation Project.   

Background Information:

IMR Tools:

Additional IMR Resources
Wellness Self-Management (WSM) Resources