Open Excellence is the Foundation for Excellence in Mental Health Care. We are excited to announce the launch of our redesigned website and new look. Come check it out, and join us as we work to bring excellence to the practice of mental health care.



January 30, 2013 by Molly Kearns

Slow and steady wins the race – let’s suit up

Don’t throw the baby out with bathwater – even if it’s the baby that peed in the tub!

When we first realize that something is wrong – the water is yellow! – it’s all too easy for the next phase of chane to be a reflex reaction. Toss the water and there goes our baby. But what if we took the time to really understand the nature of the problem – and found it’s the baby that contaminated the water!

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January 19, 2013 by Molly Kearns

The Language of Recovery – Are we changing words or action?

Language appears to be one of the most accessible and simplest changes to make within a system to address recovery orientation. A person seeking care can say, “I prefer to be called a consumer!” An organization can switch out “consumer” for “guest” and feel better about how it thinks everyone will perceive the human experience before them.

Although a change of vocabulary may not reflect a true systemic change of practice, it is a valuable outlet for our urge to truly see one another and it can help us uncover a deeper issue.

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January 1, 2013 by Molly Kearns

Let’s Make Recovery the Standard of Care Together

Welcome to my new “Recover, Revitalize and Restore” blog, a place to open conversation and connection to remove the obstacles that we find are blocking mental health excellence in our systems, persons and culture.My passion for this topic grew to a burning need while working to connect with a guest in a Community Mental Health Center Residential facility who had struggled with the system for over twenty years – he was rejected by many, not trusted and forced to hide who he was in order to navigate the system that was supposed to be “helping”, but actually further traumatized and dehumanized him. While working to advocate for him and provide relationship-centered care, which to me translates as a true recovery mentality, I ran into the full force of the barriers that our systems present. I had already experienced these firsthand while providing care in hospital settings. In the ensuing time, however, working within a therapeutic community, advocating for eating disorder parity and education, being trained in psychodrama and experiential therapy, and adopting the personal contemplative practice grounded in the teachings Thich Nhat Hahn all fueled my belief that there is another answer and we really can provide hope and healing.  The agency I work in was willing to try a new approach, so I began searching for other places and models to meet the needs I saw.

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