Mental health – Recovery

Public Health Agency

People can and do recover from mental health problems. Recovery can be a process or, if you like, a journey. It’s a journey based on hope – the belief it’s possible for a person to regain a meaningful, positive life, despite mental illness.

The recovery process:
  • can be a journey rather than a destination
  • doesn’t always mean getting back to where you were before
  • will have its ups and downs
  • requires optimism, commitment and support from you, your family and friends
  • can allow you to lead a normal functioning life
  • can allow you to find your own coping mechanisms to deal with life’s challenges.

For many people, the journey of recovery is about staying in control of their life, despite experiencing mental health problems.

The recovery journey involves looking beyond someone’s mental health problems. It recognises and encourages the person’s abilities, interests and dreams.

Recovery can be a journey of healing and transformation, enabling a person with mental health issues to live a meaningful life while striving to achieve their full potential.

What supports recovery

Some important factors that support recovery include:

  • good relationships – having the support of family, friends and networks is vital
  • empowerment / self-direction – a person determines their path of recovery and personal goals
  • the right living / working / education environment
  • financial security
  • responsibility – where a person develops their own self-care skills, for example putting in place ways of coping.

Recovery encompasses an individual’s whole life, including mind, body, spirit and community.

Recovery is a unique and individual experience. Although there may be common themes and experiences, each journey to recovery will be different.

Useful resources

Guided meditations
Handle stress and anxiety on the go
Support to resist self-harm
Personalised Exercise Plans
Fabulous! Is a motivational app that uses challenges to help build physically and...
Boost your happiness and create a kinder world while doing it with the Action for...
Here2Help has been developed by a local initiative from people who want to make the range...
Active 10 is a free and easy to use walking app that tracks your walking and shows you...
Learn to manage negative thoughts and look at problems differently
MoodMission helps you learn new and better ways of coping with low moods and anxiety...
Clear Fear is an app developed for teenage mental health charity Stem4 which uses the...
MindShift CBT is a free self-help anxiety relief app, that helps you reduce worry, stress...
Self-Help for Anxiety Management (SAM) offers a range of self-help methods to help you...
What's Up? can help you cope with anxiety, stress and feelings of depression. It has...
Moodpath: Depression and Anxiety is a written mood journal that uses progress reports and...
Guided meditations
It’s an easy to follow programme known the world over, and perfect for those new to...
SuperBetter is a tool created by game designers to help you build resilience and get...

Helplines & Web Chats

Action Mental Health
Association for Post-Natal Illness Helpline
Aware NI - Support Groups
Aware NI - Online Support Groups
Mind - Side by Side Online Community