People can and do recover from mental health problems. Recovery can be a process or, if you like, a journey. It is a journey based on hope - the belief it’s possible for a person to regain a meaningful, positive life, despite mental illness.
The recovery process:
- can be a journey rather than a destination;
- does not always mean getting back to where you were before;
- like life, will have its ups and downs;
- requires optimism, commitment and support from you, your family, and friends:
- can allow you to lead a ‘normal functioning life’;
- can allow you to find your own coping mechanisms to deal with life’s challenges.
For many people, the journey of recovery is about staying in control of their life, despite experiencing a mental health problem.
The recovery journey involves looking wider than someone’s mental health problems - it recognises and fosters abilities, interests and dreams.
Recovery can be a journey of healing and transformation enabling a person with mental health issues to live a meaningful life while striving to achieve their full potential.
What supports recovery
Some important factors that support recovery include:
- good relationships – having support through family, friends and networks are vital;
- empowerment/ self direction – a person determines their path of recovery and personal goals;
- the right living/working/education environment;
- financial security;
- recovery encompasses an individual’s whole life including mind, body, spirit and community;
- responsibility – where a person develops their own self-care skills, eg putting in place ways of coping to help their own wellness.
Recovery is a unique and individual experience and while there may be common themes and experiences, each journey to recovery will be different.
For more information on this topic see:
Recovery journey… Grainne’s story
Grainne McAnee emphasises the importance of seeking help and talking to someone you trust, if you are feeling low and unable to cope.