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What does recovery mean?

People with lived experience of mental health issues have suggested that recovery for someone with a mental health problem, is about living hopefully, taking control over their problems and their life and pursuing your dreams and ambitions. It involves building a new sense of self, meaning and purpose, growing within and beyond what has happened.

It is about having a meaningful and satisfying life.  Recovery is using your skills and talents to become all you want to be and do all you want to do!

Everyone's journey of recovery is individual and uniquely personal – there is no formula for recovery, but there does appear to be three things that are critical:

  • Hope – Recovery is impossible without hope. Relationships are key in supporting and fostering hope.  When you find it hard to believe in yourself and your possibilities you need others to believe in you and hold on to hope for you.

  • Choice/ Control - Recovery involves taking back control. This may involve taking control of your life, deciding what is important to you and finding purpose, meaning and direction.  It may also include taking control of your own recovery and self-care and working out and choosing ways of managing problems so they don’t get in the way of you pursuing your goals.

  • Opportunity – Recovery is impossible without opening up opportunity for a life beyond illness.  Doing things that give your life value, such as a meaningful occupation, work, and taking part in community life and leisure activities can all help on the road to recovery.