The Recovery Model of mental health is gaining strength as an alternative to a traditional illness model, focusing attention on different aspects of the healing process. Key characteristics of this model include:
- There is a vision of the possibility of complete recovery for each individual.
- There is a focus on strengths more than deficits.
- Each person is a unique individual more than a diagnosis. What recovery looks like and the path towards recovery are both unique to the individual.
- The person is centrally responsible for their own recovery – and needs, in every way possible, to be the decision-maker around their own treatment.
- Medications may be used, but are viewed as auxiliary, not the centerpiece of treatment.
- Therapy in all its many forms can be centrally important. Key here is instilling hope and building courage.
- Healing involves tapping the person’s natural supports, networks and resources.
- Much of healing occurs peer-to-peer. This can involve support groups, fellow members of therapy groups, friends and trained peer support specialists.