What is recovery?

The concept of recovery and the 'Recovery Movement' arose in the 1970s and 80s from the accounts and experiences of those with severe mental ill-health which emphasized self-help, empowerment and advocacy, and challenged the traditional notions of professional power and expertise.

They also challenged the pessimistic view that people with severe mental ill-health did not recover. Further support for the Recovery Movement came from studies that showed that many people living with mental health conditions were able to lead valued and productive lives - and some became symptom free.

Whilst there is no single agreed definition of recovery, the following is cited widely and captures the essence of what recovery is about:

"A deeply personal, unique process of changing one's attitudes, values, feelings, goals, skills and roles. It is a way of living a satisfying, hopeful and contributing life even with limitations caused by the illness. recovery involves the development of new meaning and purpose in one's life as one grows beyond the catastrophic effects of mental illness." (Anthony, 1993)

Read what recovery means to people who use our services and their carers and our points to remember.