What does recovery in mental health mean?

Recovery in mental health is perhaps different from how we might recover from a physical health issue. The concept of recovery can mean different things to different people; recovery isn’t necessarily the absence of mental health problems. It is still possible to have some control and lead positive lives in spite of mental health challenges. There is no single definition of recovery, although it is about the realisation of goals, skills and relationships that help someone regain a meaningful life. The acronym ‘CHIME’ summaries the important features in the role of recovery. CHIME stands for Connectedness, Hope and Optimism, Identity, Meaning and Purpose, and Empowerment.

The recovery model or process focuses on the person, not just their symptoms. The guiding principle in recovery is hope, for even those experiencing severe mental illness. It is a strength-based approach, looking beyond mere survival and existence to support people to build their resilience. Fostering people’s abilities, interests and dreams helps them move forward to achieve their aspirations. Recovery can be a voyage of self-discovery and personal growth. Often thought of as a journey, experiences of mental illness can provide opportunities for change.

What supports recovery?

Research shows that there are different important factors that support the road to recovery, which include:

– Good relationships

– Financial security

– Satisfying work

– Personal growth

– The right living environment

Where people are believed in, listened to and understood are also important factors in supporting people on their recovery journey. When someone is in crisis, it is also helpful that they are able to temporary resign their responsibilities and are supported during this time.

The recovery process calls for optimism and commitment from all concerned. This is because mental health professionals, friends and the family members can at times be protective or pessimistic around what the person living with mental ill health can achieve. However, there is a strong link between the recovery process and social inclusion. Supporting people to regain their place within their communities and participate in activities and access opportunities can be crucial in their recovery.

Ling Salter of Compassionate Cuppa is able to offer both emotional and practical support to individuals who are experiencing mental health challenges in their journey of recovery. Find out more or to book your first FREE (via Zoom) session on: www.compassionatecuppa.co.uk/personal

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