Visions - Recovery

PDF | Vol. 9, No. 1 (2013)

When we talk about mental illnesses and substance use problems, it’s easy to talk in clinical terms: that person has this symptom, or that person uses a certain drug. But recovery is so much bigger than a checklist. It isn’t about living without symptoms or difficulties. It’s about living well despite challenges—by connecting with new social groups, finding meaningful work, embracing creativity, developing the skills to deal with problems, and refusing to let life pass by. Exactly what recovery means or what it looks like is deeply individual, as you’ll see in each article, but you’ll find a few common themes. First, recovery is much bigger than any health care system. It’s about recognizing the whole person and their unique skills and abilities. Second, recovery doesn’t happen in isolation. Mental health professionals, peers, neighbours and family members can all play a role. Finally, we all have a reason for hope. No matter how great someone’s challenges may seem, they still deserve a fulfilling and purposeful life and still contribute their own assets to our communities.

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