Promoting Recovery… Historically, clinical services have typically defined recovery in terms of absence of symptoms. More recently recovery has become a “social movement” led by service users defining recovery in a way that is meaningful to them. This has brought a new sense of optimism to the care and treatment of individuals experiencing mental health problems and has led to a more holistic and person centred approach.
A major theme of The Psychosis Research Unit is developing and testing new ways of helping people with psychosis and bipolar disorder work towards a recovery which is meaningful to them. The Psychosis Research Unit service user researchers and clinical psychologists have worked together to clarify the concept of recovery from a service user perspective.
The Psychosis Research Unit has undertaken a large five year research programme funded by the National Institute for Health Research focussed on psychological approaches to understanding and promoting recovery in psychosis and bipolar disorder. This research programme specifically aimed to understand and promote recovery in psychosis and Bipolar disorder, in a manner that is acceptable to and empowering of service users. All projects were conducted in collaboration with service users: the research team included two paid service user researchers and a service user reference group who were consulted regularly on all aspects of the design and conduct of the studies.
The programme included six linked projects which were conducted using a variety of methods to develop new ways of measuring recovery; to understand what recovery means to service users and what factors promote recovery; to understand how recovery, symptoms and psychological well-being are related; to examine what sort of factors predict recovery; and to test three new interventions. You can read more about this programme of research HERE.
Our research has made significant additions to our understanding and promotion of recovery, including the development of two new measures which were shown to be valid and acceptable to service users. We have shown that we can measure recovery, that factors such as reduced negative emotions, increased self-esteem and hope are predictive of personal recovery judgements and that the new interventions tested showed promising benefits to people with psychosis and suicidal thinking and people with bipolar disorder. These findings have important implications for future research and for clinical practice.
Promoting recovery is an important theme throughout the service user led, academic and clinical literature. Important organisations such as RETHINK and MIND also have lots of useful information about recovery in mental health.
Here at Greater Manchester West Mental Health Trust we have set up the Recovery Academy which provides a range of free educational courses and resources for people with mental health and substance misuse problems, their families and carers as well as health care professionals. Courses focus on supporting people with their recovery and promote good health and wellbeing.
You can find out more about the Recovery Academy HERE
You can find all of our publications relating to research on recovery HERE