Being diagnosed with a mental health problem can be distressing and can impact all areas of a person’s life. It is important to recognise that every person is different and recovery can mean different things to different people. For many people, recovery from poor mental health is about being in control of their lives. The road to recovery is a personal one and should incorporate many different goals and objectives.
Richard Cunningham, Director of Supported Independent Living, which is part of The Lifeways Group says: “The objectives of a recovery-oriented mental health service is to make sure people are able to live successfully in their community. This is through managing their own mental health needs and having less reliance on paid support.”
Recovery can be a journey of personal growth and self-discovery, it is important that service providers such as The Lifeways Group recognise the importance of a positive self-identity to recovery. Recovery should encourage people to move forward, set new goals and recognise their dreams, wishes and aspirations.
Louise, who lives in a Lifeways supported apartment tells us: “I’ve lived in my own apartment for four years; I have learnt coping strategies to help me with my impulsive behaviour and behavioural problems. My support team have helped me gain experience and confidence by getting me involved in different activities, including helping Wirral Social Services run focus groups and sitting on interview panels. My main goal is to live independently, but until then I will continue to be supported and live a better life.”
Richard continues: “It is our belief that services should be ‘Places of Change’ not stagnation, where the focus from the first day of entry into a service is on the eventual exit from that service.”