Recovery does not necessarily mean getting completely cured from a mental health problem. For many patients, the idea of recovery focuses on being able to get a control of life even when the patient is undergoing mental problems.

To be resilient amidst the crises and manage the symptoms well can also mean recovery. Recovery can also be explained as a process, a vision or an outlook, a framework or the guiding principle to restore and maintain a meaningful life. There are many definitions for recovery in the realm of mental health problems and some professionals refer to the ‘recovery model’ to completely explain this concept.

Recovery process includes:

  • Giving a holistic view of the mental problem
  • Believing that recovery is possible
  • Recovery should be a journey than the destination
  • May not mean going back to where you started from
  • Recovery has its good and bad times
  • Should be optimistic and be committed at all times
  • Recovery is depended on the patient’s attitude and expectations
  • Should be well-organised for the patient’s friends, family or professionals
  • Needs services to help and support innovative ways of treatment

This recovery model wants to show how to help the patients with mental problems to go beyond existence and carry themselves toward the development of meaningful activities and maintaining relationships that matter.

Recovery focuses on people having control of their lives even when they cannot control their symptoms. Recovery does not center on curing the problem but seeing that there is life beyond the problem, being able to recognize and grab the chances to develop their skills, dreams and interest. Mental health problems and social behaviour can hinder people who suffer from mental problems. But take note that recovery encompasses beyond these limitations to help the patients get their goals.

Recovery may either be a self-discovery or a personal growth. Experiences like these give an opportunity for reflection, change and discovery of new skills, interest and values.

Factors that support recovery

Studies have shown that there are vital factors to be considered for fast and effective recovery:

  • good relationships
  • satisfying work
  • financial security
  • right living environment
  • personal growth
  • to develop own spiritual or cultural perspectives
  • to become resilient amidst problems in the future

Other factors emphasized by people who were supported through their recovery:

  • to be believed in
  • to be understood and listened to
  • to get explanations for their problems
  • to have the chance to give their responsibility to other people during their time of crises

Also, it is vital that for anyone who supports someone in recovery to encourage them to gain skills and to support them to reach their goals.

Relationship between social inclusion and recovery

There are strong evidences to associate recovery and social inclusion. These two are some of the principles guiding the creation of mental health services. The main role for services is to sustain the inclusion of patients in activities and opportunities like education, training, employment, and volunteering.

Tools that help patients and mental health services

There are two available approaches that could help:

  • WRAP (Wellness Recovery Action Plan)

WRAP is a recovery and self-management system made by a group in the US who suffered from had mental health problems and who still struggled to join wellness tools and plans to their lives. WRAP was created to:

  • reduce and prevent troubling behaviours and feelings
  • boost personal empowerment
  • improve their quality of life
  • help other people to achieve their goals

WRAP monitors distressing and uncomfortable symptoms which helps to reduce, eliminate or modify them by utilizing planned responses. These responses include strategies on how a person wants other people to respond if the symptoms have made them unable to make decisions, to care for themselves or keep themselves safe. For those people who have the symptoms, they will have to develop their own WRAP but they may also want to ask those people who support and help them or their mental health professional team who cares for them.

  • DREEM (Developing Recovery Enhancing Environments Measure)

DREEM is a measurement and research tool used to gauge just how ‘recovery-oriented’ a service really is. This is a self-report tool which collects data on mental health recovery from patients who received mental health services. DREEM asks the patients what part of the recovery process they are in and what particular markers of the recovery they are undergoing.