About recovery

Many people assume that when a person gets a diagnosis of a serious mental health problem they will have it for the rest of their lives.
This is a myth. People recover from mental health problems. In fact, in some cases you have a better chance of recovery from a mental health problem than from a physical illness.

Recovery means different things to different people. It is a very personal experience. It may not mean an absence of symptoms but it does mean living a fulfilled life in which the person has control over their own wellbeing and recovery.
Here are some important thoughts and ideas about recovery:

  • recovery is a journey not a destination
  • all of us have recovered from something in our lives
  • many of the things that help us to recover are the same for everyone
  • it is most helpful to identify ourselves according to strengths and wellness rather than problems and illness
  • relationships that are based on hope and trust and a belief in the possibility of recovery are very important.

Mental health first aiders are encouraged to remind others of the message of recovery and to apply it when offering to help another person.

The Scottish Recovery Network aims to engage communities across Scotland in debate on how best to promote and support recovery from long-term mental health problems. Members of the network tell their own stories on the Scottish Recovery Network (external link) website.