The IDHS/DMH is pleased to announce the release of the long-awaited CRSS Provider Workbook. This workbook has been developed for providers, with input from providers across the state, through focus groups and individual provider interviews, to assist in thoughtful consideration of various aspects involved in developing, establishing and sustaining positions for CRSS professionals within the mental health workforce.

The CRSS Provider Workbook is designed for providers that are either interested in starting a new program with CRSS on staff or those who already have an established program and are seeking to enhance or improve upon the groundwork already laid.

In this workbook, providers will find an outline of best practices in a variety of areas in the field of recovery support services, action items for follow-up, and questions for strategic thinking, discussion and planning. Also included are numerous exhibits that enhance the workbook with specific tools, handouts, checklists, and other resources for guidance.

The Table of Contents is listed here for quick reference:

  • Chapter 1: Culture Change
    • Exhibit 1A: Person First Language
    • Exhibit 1B: Principles of Recovery
    • Exhibit 1C: Web-Based Resources
  • Chapter 2: What All Staff Need: Training and Supervision
    • Exhibit 2A: ORACL: Online Recovery Academy and CRSS Library
    • Exhibit 2B: A Brief History of the Mental Health Recovery Movement
  • Chapter 3: From a Manager's Point of View: Risk Management and Program Sustainability
  • Chapter 4: Uniqueness of the Recovery Support Specialist Position: Roles and Responsibilities
  • Chapter 5: Uniqueness of the Recovery Support Specialist Position: Self-Disclosure Issues
    • Exhibit 5A: Self-Disclosure Supervisor and Self-Assessment Tool
    • Exhibit 5B: To Tell the Truth: Why and How Mental Health Professionals Can and Should Self-Disclose Personal Psychiatric Histories by Steve Harrington, MPA, J.D.
  • Chapter 6: Posting and Filling Recovery Support Service Positions
    • Exhibit 6A: Posting and Filling RSS Positions "Dos and Don'ts"
    • Exhibit 6B: Worksheet for Identifying Primary Duties and Essential Job Functions for RSSs
    • Exhibit 6C: Job Description Examples
    • Exhibit 6D: Recovery Competencies
    • Exhibit 6E: Interviewing a Candidate for a RSS Position
  • Chapter 7: It's More than Just a Job: Returning to and Thriving in the Workforce
    • Exhibit 7A: Checklist for Supervisor
    • Exhibit 7B: Checklist for Supervisor to Give RSS
  • Chapter 8: Developing a Career Path for Recovery Support Specialists


The CRSS Provider Workbook will be posted on both the DHS website ( (pdf)) and the Illinois Mental Health Collaborative website (