What is mental health recovery?

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When we speak about mental health treatment, it's important to recognise that ‘recovery’ doesn’t necessarily mean ‘cure’.

Instead, the concept of mental health recovery focuses more on helping people to regain control over their lives and emotions, and provide them with the tools to manage their mental health challenges in healthy ways.

Mental health recovery at Priory

At Priory, we have a world class team of therapists, psychiatrists, and psychologists delivering mental health treatment with the aims and objectives of effective long-term recovery for everyone who enters into our care.

With that in mind, mental health recovery:

  • Is a personalised approach, defined by each person
  • Goes beyond symptom elimination to include ‘social recovery’
  • Is a journey, not a destination
  • Focuses on building a meaningful life, as defined by the person themselves
  • Moves away from pathology, illness and symptoms to health, strengths and wellness
  • Comprises treatment guided by attention to personal life goals

There are five key recovery concepts that provide the foundation for effective mental health recovery: hopepersonal responsibilityself-advocacyeducation, and support.

From the perspective of the person with mental illness, recovery means gaining and retaining hope, developing an understanding of abilities and disabilities, engaging in an active life, and acquiring personal autonomy, social identity, meaning and purpose in life, and a positive sense of self.

Priory adheres to the principles of recovery-oriented mental health practice in order to ensure that our mental health services are being delivered in a way that supports the recovery of everyone we support.

Discover patient stories

Priory recovery stories
Patrick's story

The principles of mental health recovery

The uniqueness of each person

  • Recovery isn't about finding a 'cure', but is about having the opportunity to make personal choices, being able to live a meaningful, satisfying and purposeful life, and being a valued member of the community
  • Recovery outcomes are personal and unique for each person and go beyond an exclusive health focus to include an emphasis on social inclusion and quality of life
  • Empowers people so they recognise they're at the centre of the care they receive

Real choices

  • People are supported and empowered to make their own choices about how they want to lead their lives, and are encouraged to make choices that are meaningful and creatively explored
  • People are supported to build on their strengths and take as much responsibility for their lives as possible
  • Ensures there's a balance between duty of care and support for people to take positive risks and make the most of new opportunities

Attitudes and rights

  • Involves listening to, learning from and acting upon communications from the person and their carers about what's important to them
  • Promotes and protects each person’s legal, citizenship and human rights
  • Supports people to maintain and develop social, recreational, occupational and vocational activities that are meaningful to them
  • Instils hope in a person’s future and their ability to live a meaningful life

Dignity and respect

  • Consists of being courteous, respectful and honest in all interactions
  • Involves sensitivity and respect for each person, particularly for their values, beliefs and culture
  • Challenges discrimination and stigma wherever it exists within our services or the broader community

Partnership and communication

  • Acknowledges that each person is an expert on their own life and that recovery involves working in partnership with people and their carers to provide support in a way that makes sense to them
  • Values the importance of sharing relevant information and the need to communicate clearly to enable effective engagement
  • Involves working in positive and realistic ways with people and their carers to help them to achieve their own hopes, goals and aspirations

Evaluating recovery

  • Ensures continuous evaluation of recovery-based practice
  • People and their carers can track their own progress
  • Services demonstrate that they use the person’s experiences of care to inform quality improvement activities
  • The mental health system reports on key outcomes that indicate recovery

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