How the pace program builds a recovery-transformed system: results from a national survey

James H. Zahniser, TriWest Group
Laurie Ahern, National Empowerment Center
Daniel B. Fisher, University of Massachusetts Medical School

At the time of publication, Daniel Fisher was not yet affiliated with the University of Massachusetts Medical School.


The PACE/Recovery Program (Personal Assistance in Community Existence) is based on a comprehensive set of principles and approaches for facilitating people's recovery from severe emotional distress and psychiatric disability. The PACE Program utilizes an empowerment model of recovery and builds on and incorporates a number of research findings. A core, research-based assumption is that people can and do recover from even the most serious psychiatric disabilities. The survey included both closed and open-ended questions. Respondents were from 28 different U.S. states and from various provinces in Canada. A strong majority of respondents indicated that the PACE Program had changed their thinking in the direction of increased hope. Many stakeholders who believe in recovery and empowerment approaches may sometimes feel isolated in their views. Future Directions for the PACE/Recovery Program With this evidence that the PACE/Recovery principles positively affected peoples' attitudes towards recovery, there have been requests for an implementation.