Recovery from Mental Health Problems

For some people mental health problems may be a ‘one off’, causing distress for a relatively short period in a person’s life. For others, mental health problems may be longer term, possibly returning at different times or causing long-term challenges. However, one thing is clear, people can and do recover from mental health problems – no matter how serious or long term they are.

Recovery is a deeply personal and individual process. For some it means getting back to ‘normal’ or back to the way things were before a period of illness. Others consider it to mean not experiencing symptoms of the illness any more. People who have had long-term problems often describe a process of growth and development, in the presence or absence of symptoms. Many people describe it as a journey in which they become active in managing and controlling their own well-being and recovery.

Recovery is a key message in Mental Health First Aid. The presence of hope and the expectation of recovery is one of the most important forms of support we can give a person with a mental health problem.

The things that help everyone recover from physical illness or painful life events are the same things that help people recover from mental illness.

From a Mental Health Perspective, What is Recovery?

Recovery is being able to live a meaningful and satisfying life, as defined by each person, in the presence or absence of symptoms.

It is about having control over your own life.

Each individual’s recovery, like their experience of mental health problems or illness, is a unique and deeply personal process.

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