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

Your Mind Plan offers practical ideas and advice to help you boost and maintain your mental wellbeing. Answer the quick 5-question quiz and the Every Mind Matters widget will give you 5 tailored actions to help you feel more in control, improve your sleep, deal with stress and anxiety, and boost your mood – as well as the option to easily swap any actions and to save the whole plan via email.

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