A wellness approach to mental health recovery

Margaret Swarbrick

in Recovery of People with Mental Illness

Published on behalf of Oxford University Press

Published in print August 2012 | ISBN: 9780199691319
Published online February 2013 | e-ISBN: 9780191754791 | DOI:

Series: International Perspectives in Philosophy & Psychiatry

A wellness approach to mental health recovery

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Recovery in relation to mental health is a deeply personal, unique process of (re)gaining physical, spiritual, mental, and emotional balance when one encounters illness, crisis, or trauma. As a process, the individual learns to accept the illness, crisis, or trauma and its associated challenges while adjusting their attitudes, beliefs, and sometimes both life roles and goals. Recovery is a process of healing and restoring a sense of balance and wellness during episodes of stress and crisis. Social determinants of health—including income and social status, social support networks, education and literacy, employment, social and physical environments, personal health practices and coping skills, access to health services, gender, and culture—are all factors that have a significant impact on wellness and mental health recovery. Recovery is impeded by a life of poverty, poor access to quality healthcare and to other needed health and social supports, and the effects of stigma, discrimination, and social exclusion. The notion of wellness, which was initially introduced within public health, is now viewed as critical for mental health recovery. This chapter will explore mental health recovery in the context of a wellness model. Service-user-led wellness models of support will be examined as a proactive means of promoting mental health recovery and social inclusion. Individual, professional, program, and system level approaches and strategies to facilitate recovery will be proposed.

Chapter.  4020 words. 

Subjects: Psychiatry

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