Book of Proceedings: Identifying Ways to Broaden Recovery Narratives – The Lived Experience of Mental Health Consumers Participating In Western Sydney Partners in Recovery Programs

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Authors: Sarah Wayland, Jennifer Smith-Merry, Alison Kokany and Nicola Hancock, NSW

Year: 2016

Event: 2016 TheMHS Conference

Subject: Book of Proceedings 2016, conference papers, proceedings papers

Type of resource: Conference Presentations and Papers

ISBN: 978-0-9945702-1-5

Abstract: Recovery conversations provide space for consumers of mental health services to identify how life, post diagnosis, might be lived. Anthony (1993) notes that ‘recovery is a simple but powerful vision’ (p.13) however there is no universally accepted definition of recovery in a context of mental health. Conceptualising recovery as an individual journey, that has light and shade can provide an expansive view on consumers and their experiences. A recovery narratives study, recently conducted by The University of Sydney, identified that consumers of recovery services believed that their mental health needs were viewed separately, at times, to issues of physical health, culture, addiction issues and relationship stressors. Broad recovery narratives encourage consumers to be active participants in their own journey as ‘opposed to passive recipients of their mental health care’ (Allott and colleagues, 2002, p.15). Consumers understanding of the role of their physical health, culture and trauma may benefit notions of recovery. This paper identifies how consumers, practitioners and peer-workers, working in a recovery-oriented model, can be guided by participant stories that include factors on the periphery of mental health, and how they may assist in developing a recovery framework that offers both a process and an outcome.

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