“When I use a word,’ Humpty Dumpty said in rather a scornful tone, ‘it means just what I choose it to mean — neither more nor less. But the question is,” said Alice, “whether you can make words mean so many different things. The question is,” said Humpty Dumpty, “which is to be master— that’s … Continue reading Blog #8 Recovery – which is to be master?
Finally, to the specific question of employment. It is worth remembering that people with mental health problems still have the lowest employment rate of any disabled group and, according to National Patient survey data, only 43% report receiving any support in finding or keeping work and just under half of those not receiving help would … Continue reading Blog #7 Recovery and employment
As for recovery ignoring the individual’s social, political and cultural context, this is a travesty. Supporting individual recovery is, at its heart, essentially a social process (see Mary O’Hagan and many others). And, since most peoples’ personal recovery goals revolve around having somewhere decent to live, something meaningful to do, feeling a part of your … Continue reading Blog #6 Recovery ignores the socio-political context
The next idea that figures largely in the anti-recovery discourse is the notion that promoting recovery is simply a device for justifying the reduction of services. Listening to some politicians and commissioners over the past few years this sounds quite plausible. It is certainly the case that mental health services have suffered savage reductions in … Continue reading Blog #5 Recovery as a justification for service reductions
Perhaps foremost among the ‘other fish’ that haunt the pool of recovery is the notion that supporting recovery is part of an agenda orchestrated by managers and professionals to take over control of peoples’ lives. If this is the case, then it would clearly be fundamentally in opposition to recovery values. However, I have to … Continue reading Blog #4 Recovery as part of an attempt by professionals and managers to control people
The notion that supporting recovery implies that the person must first be ‘cured’ has plagued the movement right from the beginning. But it is surprising that it has hung around for so long. In 1993 Bill Antony made it very clear that, ‘The concept of recovery from physical illness and disability does not mean that … Continue reading Blog #3 ‘Recovery’ means ‘cure’?
It must be acknowledged at the outset that there is a semantic problem with the word ‘recovery’. It has a well-established common meaning, viz. (the process of) …. ‘returning to a normal state of health, mind or strength’ and this is how it has been used in the context of mental health. However, it also … Continue reading Blog #2 ‘Recovery’ as a semantic problem – is it all just in a word?
The word ‘recovery’ is highly contested. For some people, it is seen as just another attempt by professionals and managers to take control over service users’ lives. They believe it requires that everyone with mental health problems must be ‘cured’; it locates all the problems within the individual; it strips people of their unique social, … Continue reading Blog #1 – Recovery: ‘the great debate’