Having good relationships and being connected in positive ways to other people. This includes peer support between people with experience of mental health issues, as well as relationships with carers, friends, and family. Positive connections with health professionals and community involvement are also important.
HOPE AND OPTIMISM
Hope and optimism are widely acknowledged as key to recovery. There can be no change without the belief that a better life is both possible and attainable. Hope and optimism can be characterised by:
• Belief in recovery
• Motivation to change
• Hope-inspiring relationships
• Positive thinking and valuing success
• Having dreams and aspirations
Regaining a positive sense of self and identity, overcoming stigma and being recognised as a whole person – rather than being defined by illness or diagnosis – is another common theme of recovery.
Living a meaningful and purposeful life is important for recovery. We all find meaning in very different ways. Some people may find spirituality important, while others may find meaning through employment or the development of stronger interpersonal or community links. Many people describe the importance of feeling valued and contributing as active members of the community.
Focusing on strengths, taking personal responsibility and control of your life can be hard but are important for recovery. Empowerment is supported by the inclusion of people with experience of mental health issues in their communities and in decisions about treatment and support. One way to gain more control over recovery is to develop and use self management techniques.