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A Slab Over My Head: Recovery Insights From a Consumer’s Perspective

Pam McGrath, Vivian Jarrett

Abstract

It has only been in very recent times that the notion of ‘recovery’ from mental illness has begun to gain wide acceptance. The 1990s was labelled the ‘decade of recovery’ to signify a paradigm shift from the notion of mental illness as a predictable deteriorative/ maintenance course to an understanding of the potential for recovery. It is now considered possible for individuals to recover fully from even the most severe forms of mental illness. Increasingly in the literature it is emphasised that insights from the lived experience of individuals who have recovered from mental illness should be central to considerations of mental health care planning and reform. The case study presented in this article is one response to the call within the literature for consumer accounts to direct and guide the development of a recovery oriented system. The findings emphasise respect for individual strengths, along with self-advocacy, assertiveness, finding the right support and having choice.

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Contributed on 4/20/2010

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