Recovery – What is it?

The word ‘Recovery’ has two meanings in the mental health sector: Clinical recovery (usually refers to “getting back to normal” and when the symptoms of an illness disappear) and Personal recovery (recovering a life worth living, with or without a clinical recovery). This page is referring to Personal recovery.

The Recovery movement began in the 1970’s, primarily as a civil rights movement aimed at restoring the human rights and full community inclusion of people experiencing mental health issues.

Here is what you need to know about Recovery:

  • It is based on a foundation of hope and optimism for people and people’s future.
  • Recovery is an ongoing experience and is not synonymous with cure.
  • It is a nonlinear process, frequently interspersed with both achievement and setbacks.
  • It is an approach where one size does not fit all, and where everyone’s journey and goals are unique.
  • Personal recovery is a broader and more holistic concept than Clinical recovery. For example, a person’s recovery may include joining a gardening club, volunteering or connecting with their own community.
  • A recovery approach encourages people to take an active role and reclaim responsibility for the direction of their life.


Recovery – Within North Brisbane PiR

The North Brisbane Partners in Recovery (PiR) Organisation has endorsed the National Framework for Recovery Oriented Mental Health Services, and supports its implementation across the region.

This Framework defines personal recovery as being able to create and live a meaningful and contributing life in a community of choice with or without the presence of mental health issues (page 4).

When applied to mental health practice, this refers to care and support that:

  • Recognises and embraces the possibilities for recovery and wellbeing created by the inherent strength and capacity of all people experiencing mental health issues;
  • Maximises self determination and self management of mental health and wellbeing; and
  • Assists families to understand the challenges and opportunities arising from their family member’s experiences (page 4)


Recovery – Additional Resources

To view local support groups in Queensland, please visit Queensland Voice