Tuesday, January 2, 2007


"Many of us who have used mental health services have been told what we ‘have,’ how ‘it’ will be treated and how we must think about arranging our lives around this thing.

"We have then begun to see our lives as a series of problems or ‘symptoms’ and we have forgotten that there might be other ways to interpret our experiences."

- Shery Mead

When you are faced with a mental illness, life is often confusing, and it can be difficult to focus on the idea of recovery. When we hear these are chronic illnesses, we begin to think only of our deficits and losses. Thoughts of recovery can seem far away or even impossible to us, those who treat us, and those who care about us.

But there’s a different way of looking at mental illnesses now, a vision focusing on recovery and self-determination, emphasizing the importance of peer support and focusing on the person with the mental illness, supporting and building on their dreams and desires. There’s a growing recognition, supported by increasing amounts of research, that recovery is possible when consumers are an integral part of their own treatment and support systems.

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