What facilitates recovery from mental health problems?

IMG_2882I was looking through my old blogs on Wired In To Recovery and came across this one.

The blog is based on a paper by Wendy Brown and Niki Kandirikirira, entitled “Recovering Mental Health in Scotland: Report on Narrative Investigation of Mental Health Recovery”. It’s the 19th manuscript in the list on this page.

‘This research involved the recovery narratives of 64 individuals in Scotland who identified themselves as being in recovery or recovered from a long-term mental health problems.

Although the narrators’ stories are very different and highly individual, consistent themes were evident. For a recovery journey to begin and continue to prosper, narrators’ accounts of their experiences suggested six basic internal (individual and self controlled) elements were required (though not necessarily in this order and not necessarily seen in every case):

  • Belief in self and developing a positive identity
  • Knowing that recovery is possible
  • Having meaningful activities in life
  • Developing positive relationships with others and your environment
  • Understanding your illness, mental health and general wellbeing
  • Actively engaging in strategies to stay well and manage setbacks.

Six external (social or environmental) elements that helped promote recovery journeys encompassed:

  • Having friends and family who are supportive, but do not undermine narrator’s self-determination
  • Being told recovery is possible
  • Having contributions recognised and valued
  • Having formal support that is responsive and reflective of changing needs
  • Living and working in a community where other people could see beyond your illness
  • Having life choices accepted and validated.”

What do you think? How relevant are these elements to your recovery?