The evidence base for Recovery offers achievable answers to the resource restrictions and system pressures that mental health providers, commissioners and others in the system are facing on a daily basis. Co-authored by Institute of Mental Health, London School of Economics and ImROC, Recovery: the business case is an outcome analysis and economic review of Recovery. This is a Call to Action for leaders in service provision, policy and influential parties to take a ‘leap of faith’ into a new way of supporting Recovery with the firm foundation of evidence beneath them. Coproduction at every level of system design and service delivery; a workforce employed specifically for their skills and expertise of their lived experience valued equally to other roles within the workforce; recovery education and greater self management are essential elements of the future of supporting recovery.

The concept of ‘recovery’ has become a dominant theme in mental health system policy internationally in the 21st century. Thus, the World Health Organization Mental Health Action Plan 2013-2020 identifies the need for ‘a recovery-based approach that puts the emphasis on supporting individuals with mental disorders and psychosocial disabilities to achieve their own aspirations and goals.’  The challenge for mental health services in each country is therefore not ‘whether to support recovery?’, but ‘how?’  Yet sustained reductions in public spending intended to reduce the government budget deficit and the welfare state in the United Kingdom have created austerity policies that have severely impacted outcomes for people living with serious and long term mental health conditions and those supporting them.

This important new paper from ImROC analyses a broad range of evidence to evaluate the health and social care impact and economic argument for supporting people to live the lives they want to lead. Structured around the ImROC 10 key organisational challenges, the paper covers every aspect of an organisation, system and community and provides practical solutions, innovations and strategic overview to enhance and support Recovery.

“Whilst the challenge – and importance – of supporting people with mental health conditions to recovery full, meaningful and contributing lives has long been recognised, there has been widespread doubt and scepticism about the most effective ways of doing achieving this.   Recovery: the Business Case rigorously demonstrates the effectiveness and efficiency of interventions and approaches that really do support people with mental health conditions in their Recovery.  It absolutely validates the ImROC ten challenges as a framework for organisations to improve their recovery orientation, and perhaps most critical in this time of financial austerity, it is clear that by supporting people to achieve their own Recovery we reduce their need for lengthy, unplanned and crisis led admissions.  We now have the evidence that Recovery focused services are ethical, effective and efficient”. Dr Julie Repper, ImROC Director

This report bring together recovery-related evidence from scientific research, personal experience and economic evaluations. It will be helpful in making the case for why it is in the interests of all of us – including people who use mental health services, their families, workers, managers and commissioners – to develop a focus on recovery. There are of course other reasons to support recovery: people who use services want their recovery supported, and a recovery orientation is national policy. But alongside these reasons, there is now a compelling business case for many of the ImROC key organisational challenges.” Mike Slade, Professor of Mental Health Recovery and Social Inclusion, University of Nottingham and lead author.