Recovery from mental illness
We are all unique individuals and what one person may find helpful in improving their well-being, another may not. The focus is about finding out what is helpful to you personally in your recovery journey. Increased positive contact with other people, which affirms a person’s sense of belonging, has been shown to be beneficial to most people. The re-building of a positive sense of self seems to be closely linked to the availability of supportive relationships. Research evidence is accumulating in support of the fact that opportunities for participation in valued meaningful activities within a social context may be vital to building a positive sense of self in the recovery process. A positive social connection seems to foster trust and a sense of belonging and instils hope. Trying to deal with your pain alone only perpetuates your disconnectedness. Talk to somebody!
Recovery from mental illness is a rather new concept in the field of mental health; and although it does not mean cure; it assumes that a meaningful and satisfying life is possible for a person living with a mental illness.
According to Anthony (1993), recovery is:
“a deeply personal, unique process of changing one’s attitudes, values, feelings, goals, skills and/or roles. It is a way of living a satisfying, hopeful, and contributing life even with limitations caused by the illness. Recovery involves the development of new meaning and purpose in one’s life as one grows beyond the catastrophic effects of mental illness."
Read more about the service-users valued recovery outcomes when living with a mental illness - A Cape Town study:
Paper presented at the biannual conference for the World Federation for Mental Health in Cape Town - October 2011