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Recovering from a mental health issue

Recovery is about living a life of your own choosing - with or without the presence of mental health challenges. It is about learning the skills and tools to be able to assert your own power. You can recover control of your life.

Recovery is a unique journey for every person. Some people experience recovery over a long time rather than overnight. Sometimes it feels like two steps forward and one step back.

What helps recovery


Connectedness means having strong social connections in your life. It means feeling part of a community rather than feeling alone or isolated.


Hope means believing that your life can get better and that you can have a good life. This should be the case if you still have mental health problems sometimes.


Having your own sense of identity is important. It means that you see yourself as someone other than a service user. You see beyond your mental health challenges.

Meaningful roles

Having meaningful roles in your life means building on your own strengths and skills. This will help you to have fulfilling and esteem-building activities in your life.


This means giving you the choice to make decisions about your own life about your care and recovery. You can get support to help you do this, either from your team, your family or your carers. If you need help telling the services of your choices, you can get help from somebody called an advocate. An advocate is someone to support you and help you speak up for yourself.


Self-determination means that you decide what your important life goals are. You should have a say in how you would like to achieve them. These decisions should be considered in your care plan. Your mental health team should help you achieve them.

Recovery support

A common part of recovery is the presence of others who believe in your potential to recover. These are people who stand by you and understand you. It will be helpful to have more than one source of support as you will have lots of different needs. Different supporters will be able to help at different times and in different areas of your life.

page last reviewed: 23/09/2018
next review due: 23/09/2021

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