The recovery approach developed after several long-term studies of people with mental illnesses indicated that there was a chance for partial or complete recovery. The realization that each patient’s path to recovery is unique was important in changing the approaches that were previously used and adopting the recovery approach. This was supported by the Studies that were carried out by the World Health Organization since 1970-1990 across nations (Field & Reed, 2016). The studies provided strong evidence of the possibility of full recovery for patients with mental illness. The personal testimonies of recovery also led the development of this approach and the implementation of policies to enforce it. Mainly through the efforts of ex-patients movements, the recovery approach was incorporated into psychiatric care (Caplan, 2013).
The Historical Factors that played a role in the development of Recovery Approach
One of the movements that played a significant role in the recovery approach is the disability right movement. The movements begun in the 1960’s encouraged by other movements like the women’s right movement and the civil rights movement. The disability right movement focused on people with all forms of disability, which include the mental and physical disability alongside hearing and visual disability. In the case of mental disability, the movement played a vital role in the recovery approach. For instance, the movement advocated for the rights of people with mental illness by focusing on the individual ability to live an independence life through paid assistance care and to gain self determines. In addition, the movement ensured people with mental disability accessed education and employment opportunities, the organization made has made this possible through the provision of adaptive technology to enable them gain independence (Kidd, McKenzie, & Virdee, 2014).
Similarly, the civil rights movement begun in mid 1960’s with the aim of securing equal rights and equally opportunities for all people, this includes the people with disability. The movement aimed to enable people living with disability especially those suffering from mental illness lives as active members of the community; this was realized by fighting for their rights en freeing them from neglect and abuse. The consumer movement encourage by the human rights movement began in the 20th century with the aim of addressing a limited set of issues including the rights for people with disability. The movements advocated for the rights of people with mental disability in gaining acceptance in the workforce and other activities in which they excluded in the past (Schrank, Brownell, Tylee, & Slade, 2014).
2.Role of People in the Development of the Recovery Approach
Apart from the influence of ex-patient groups, the emergence of other groups such as the women’s rights movements, the gay movements, and other human rights movements provided an opportunity for former mental health patients to organize groups that had a common goal of fighting for the human rights of the patients (Schrank, Brownell, Tylee, & Slade, 2014). Some of the right that these groups were fighting for was the rights against forceful treatment, stigma, and discrimination, this is substantial in ensuring that this group of people receive proper healthcare like the rest of the population (Kidd, McKenzie, & Virdee, 2014).
People with a lived experience of mental health challenges contributed greatly to the development of recovery approach. Many of these individuals voiced their grievances over the poor services that were offered in psychiatric institutions and they began a revolution that brought about the changes in the system. The personal experiences of abuse by some of the patients brought to light the unfairness of the system in the mental institutions. Ex-patients such as Judi Chamberlin wrote on the alternatives that could be used in the mental health system and this greatly influenced the adoption of the recovery approach (Hungerford & Fox , 2014). The numerous information provided by the patients on the ineffectiveness of the system also played a major role in the early development of the recovery model, which led to an improved service delivery by the healthcare providers.
The leaders from the several survivor groups decided to form an independent human rights coalition that focused on the problems in the mental health system (Drake & Whitley , 2014). The growth and strength of these movements made the plight of patients known widely and the policy makers had no choice but to work together with them to ensure the system was favorable to the patients during their care. Their persistence and unity were essential in proving that there was a need for change. The fact that they also came up with an alternative approach to the abusive one was also very helpful, as it offered the policy makers a chance to see that it was indeed possible to change the way the patients received treatment and still achieve full recovery (Wahlbeck, 2015). Therefore, it is the interventions from the leaders from the surviving groups that influenced the change in the services provided in the mental health facilities.
3.Component of Recovery
There are key components to recovery that are unique to every individual and are related to the individuals social surrounding. They include connectedness, identity, hope and optimism, empowerment and lastly meaning and purpose (Hyde, Bowles, & Pawar, 2015). The first component is connectedness, which entails supportive relationships. The patient needs to have other people who believe in their ability to recover and support them. The community, the individual’s family, and friends are of great importance in offering the needed support. Other people who have gone through similar experiences can also be helpful in recovery and establish self-esteem. The second component is identity, which involves regaining a sense of self which had been lost. It is usually made possible by a sense of belonging in a social set up and ensuring the patient copes with any feelings of loss or despair.
Important Component in Recovery
Hope is also an important component in recovery. It involves making the patient believe in them and ensuring they have the willingness to go through the setbacks they may face. It also involves building trust and being able to risk failure without giving up. The fourth component is empowerment, which involves building a secure base and network. The housing services for the patients need to be flexible and according to their wishes. Self-determination is important in reducing psychological distress and improving decision making regarding self-care (Stickley, Higgins, Meade, Doyle, & Voukila-Oikkonen, 2016). Empowerment also involves social inclusion and overcoming social stigma. The final component is finding meaning and purpose. This allows the patient to engage in self-help care such as making decisions about medication and therapy. It also involves recovering a social role or professional role where the individual tries to regain a normal social life where they can work and support themselves.
The recovery approach views recovery as a social aspect instead of a medical aspect. It involves restoration of normal social functioning and it can occur without professional intervention. It mainly depends on the individuals surrounding the patient and the support they give to them during recovery. It also entails recovery from the resulting consequences of the mental condition and focuses mainly on the social, physical, social and spiritual wellness of the individual (Slade, Amering, O'Hagan, & Panther, 2014)
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