The mission of the US Psychiatric Rehabilitation Association is to advance the availability and practice of psychiatric rehabilitation so that all individuals with a serious mental illness have access to the supports they need to recover.

History of the United States Psychiatric Rehabilitation Association:
In the early 1970’s, the directors of the original 13 psychosocial rehabilitation centers, met to discuss the establishment of an association for advancing the practice of psychosocial/psychiatric rehabilitation services (PSR). These founders envisioned an international association that would promote optimistic strengths-based and community-based services for persons with severe and persistent mental illnesses. Each director was personally committed to improving and promoting the practice and outcomes of psychiatric rehabilitation, and each deeply believed that an association was needed to reflect their commitment. In 1974, the International Association of Psychosocial Rehabilitation Services (IAPSRS) was incorporated as a nonprofit in the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania.

Word spread of the outcomes being achieved and universities started to integrate rehabilitation principles and practices into their curricula. In 1982, the association and the Sargent College Center for Psychiatric Rehabilitation at Boston University entered into a partnership to co-publish the Psychiatric Rehabilitation Journal, providing a platform for researchers to publish findings and thereby, building the evidence base for psychiatric rehabilitation practices.

As psychosocial rehabilitation methods were being applied in other mental health settings and validated by research institutions, a standard of best practice emerged. IAPSRS fostered the efforts of these early pioneers, and collectively developed a code of ethics, recovery language guidelines and core principles and values for psychiatric rehabilitation, establishing these services as integral to community-based treatment.

In 1996, a Registry of Psychiatric Rehabilitation Practitioners was established as the predecessor to the Certified Psychiatric Rehabilitation Practitioner (CPRP) credential. Until this time, there had been a rich tradition of mentoring and agency training in the field. However, with an ever increasing number of self-identified practitioners, a more formal method of ensuring the quality and effectiveness of psychiatric rehabilitation practitioners was necessary.

As the practice of psychiatric rehabilitation took hold in Canada, it was evident that a national entity was needed to work within Canada’s socialized funding environment. In 2004, the International Association (IAPSRS) officially changed its name to the United States Psychiatric Rehabilitation Association US
and the PSR Canada was born.

Today, US
is the preeminent association for the development, support and dissemination of information about the practice of psychiatric rehabilitation and recovery. The diverse membership of US
includes agencies, practitioners, families and persons living with psychiatric disabilities, leaders in psychiatric rehabilitation education and research from major universities across the United States and the world, as well as state and federal government entities dedicated to improving outcomes in a cost-effective, evidenced-based and highly successful model. For more than 30 years and with nearly 1400 members, US
is the leading psychiatric rehabilitation organization in the United States.