Recovery in Mental Health
When we speak about ‘recovery’ in relation to mental health, we refer to focusing care on supporting the individual and building resilience, not just managing symptoms. Recovery does not always mean absence of symptoms or the process of complete recovery from a mental health problem. The term recovery in mental health means maximising one’s potential even within the limits of mental illness.
There is no single definition, but the guiding principle is HOPE; the belief that it is possible for someone to regain a meaningful life despite serious mental illness.
The National Framework for Recovery in Mental Health (2017) stated about recovery:
“Put simply, it is living a life of one’s own choosing, having dreams and ambitions, with or without the presence of mental health challenges, and regardless of the severity of those challenges.”
This concept of ‘recovery’ has evolved from collaboration across medical professionals, government agencies, academic research and most importantly ensuring the service user’s voice and experience is at the centre.
Leamy and Slade (2011) conducted an extensive literature review of 1,100 studies on mental health, which highlighted the five common processes that people with mental health conditions considered essential for recovery to occur. The C.H.I.M.E. approach:
- Connectedness: Having social connection in one’s life, feeling a part of your community rather than being isolated from the group through illness.
- Hope: Having a belief that life can and will get better, it is still possible to regain a meaningful life despite serious mental illness
- Identity: Having identities in life beyond that of a service user, that an illness does not define a person
- Meaningful Role: Building on strengths and skills to have fulfilling and esteem-building activities in life
- Empowerment: Having the Information, choices and confidence to make informed decisions on one’s own life
How Can Aware Support Recovery?
Aware’s vision is to create a society where people affected by depression, bipolar disorder and mood related conditions are understood, supported, free from stigma, and encouraged to access appropriate therapies.
Aware believes that recovery is possible and provides a wide range of support, education and information services that can support individuals and their loved ones on their recovery journey.
Aware promotes pathways to recovery through:
- listening to individuals who use our services, programmes and encouraging feedback
- collaboration with a reciprocal exchange between individuals and Aware
- offering individuals a choice in what works for them through our variety of free support and education services
Aware’s range of support, education and information services are available to individuals, families and communities who are impacted by depression, bipolar disorder and related mood conditions. All services are free of charge and no referral is necessary.
Aware’s (18+) services include:
Aware provides support services which are available to individuals managing their own experience of depression or bipolar disorder, as well as family or friends who are concerned about a loved one.
Support Line | 1800 80 48 48 | freephone | 7 days | 10am-10pm
Support Mail | email@example.com | encrypted | response within 24 hours
Support & Self Care Groups | peer support | weekly | locations nationwide
Aware offers a range of positive mental health programmes for individuals who find themselves struggling with common life challenges, as well as programmes for people who are trying to support a loved one experiencing depression or bipolar disorder. These programmes educate and empower people with the skills to cope with the ups and downs which we all meet on our journey through life.
Life Skills Group | 6 weeks | group programme | based on principles of CBT
Life Skills Online | 8 weeks | online programme | based on principles of CBT
Relatives & Friends Programme | 4 weeks | group programme
Aware does not provide diagnosis, treatment, counselling or consultations. What it does provide is that often-overlooked piece of the puzzle which can, for so many people, be the piece that makes all the difference: knowledge and understanding. Knowledge about the condition. Knowledge that there is someone to turn to, that someone else has been there, that others understand, that hope is possible and that you too can find your way.
Aware Website | support, education, information | www.aware.ie
Aware Lectures | monthly series | aware.ie/lecture
Information Stands | bi-weekly information points | Dublin & Cork
Educating and empowering people to look after their mental health is an integral part of Aware’s work. All of our services are recovery focused; focused on promoting autonomy in an individual; focused on helping them build resilience.