What is recovery?

Anyone can have mental health problems but with the right support people can and do recover. Recovery means being able to live a good life, as defined by the person, with or without symptoms.

People tell us that:

Recovery is:

  • A very personal experience
  • A journey for some; a destination for others. Some people describe being in recovery rather than recovered. The recovery journey can have ups and downs
  • About what you can do, not what you can’t
  • Not always easy or straight forward but well worth it

Recovery isn’t:

  • Something you need to do alone
  • Just about having a job
  • A one size fits all model
  • An excuse to cut services and supports

In talking about recovery we acknowledge that it is not necessarily easy or straightforward. Many people describe the need to persevere and to find ways to maintain hope through the most trying times.

We base our understanding of recovery on research around the views and experiences of people affected by mental health issues. We began our research in 2005 with the seminal Narrative Research Project. Since then, a growing body of national and international evidence has developed in support of recovery.