Rehabilitation and Recovery in Mental Health

Recovery describes a unique and deeply personal process of changing an individual’s attitude, feelings, values, goals, roles and kills. It is a process of living a satisfying, contributing and hopeful life without being distracted by the limitations that mental illnesses cause.   It involves the development of fresh meanings and purpose of an individual’s life during an individual’s growth beyond the various disastrous effects of the mental illnesses.

Generally, since recovery is a very personal process that is unique to every individual, each individual has his own definition of recovery. However, most definitions of recovery unanimously describes  it as a process, a lifestyle, an attitude and a way of approaching the numerous challenges experience by people with psychiatric illnesses. Nevertheless, the process of recovery is not a linear process. In some situations, the course of recovery is erratic and those involved, might falter or slide back, may regroup and begin the whole process afresh.   The main goal that guides the process is primarily the need to meet the various challenges that come with mental illnesses and to reestablish fresh valued sense of integrity and purposes that are beyond the limits of the mental illnesses or the disability. According to Elder et al, the aspiration is live a positive life, work and have a sense of love in a society in which an individual is required to make positive contributions.

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Rehabilitation refers to treatments that are aimed at facilitating the recovery process from illness, disease or injury to normal conditions. Generally, the goal of rehabilitation is restoring part or wholly the physical, sensory and mental abilities of a patient that were lost as a result of illness, disease or injury. In particular,  mental rehabilitation is a form of rehabilitation that is focused in assisting people to recover from some of the lost skills that are significant in coping with the requirements and demands of their day to day environments and restoring relationships that perhaps have been strained or totally damaged as a result of the catastrophic effects of mental illnesses.

In most cases, mental health rehabilitation forms the lager component of the rehabilitation efforts that are focused at assisting individuals to recover or escape from certain form of addiction. Addiction can severely impact an individual ability and desires to engage in some of the normal social interactions and to generally deal with some of the normal tasks performed in the everyday society. Mental rehabilitation in such cases addresses the mental and the emotional components of the addiction and retrains the victim to function normally as part of the society and to recapture the lost abilities. There are other forms of mental rehabilitation that assist individuals in recovering from the adverse effects of depression and certain anxiety disorders.  This form of rehabilitations are mainly conducted in outpatient basis and generally attempts to reorient the patients to positive senses of perception that are devoid of the negative emotions that the  personalized view of the society cause,  by the patient during his or her illness.

Stages of Recovery Models

The recovery model describes an approach to mental illnesses or disorders that are aimed at supporting patient’s recovery capability.  Various studies have tried to establish the stages of the recovery model. However, no consensus has been reached on the exact delineation of the recovery model stages. Nevertheless Andersen et al,  conceptualized the following model based o the various qualitative studies. According to Andersen et al, the recovery model represents the psychological recovery process occurring in five distinct stages: moratorium, awareness, preparation, rebuilding and growth.


This is the initial stage of the recovery model and is characterized by self protective withdrawal denial, identity confusion and hopelessness.


In this stage the patient possesses the initial glimmers of hope for a better and positive life.  Recovery is therefore possible in this particular stage. The awareness stage can be a personalized and internal event, or it can be promoted by a clinician, other significant persons in the life of the patient or a role model. According to Andersen et al,  the awareness stage entails an awareness of an individual’s possible self as opposed to that ‘self’ that is mainly ruled by the effects of the illness.


The preparation stage is where the patient begins working on the recovery process. It involves taking account of the individual’s intact self, values, his strengths and weaknesses. The preparation process entails learning about the different aspects of the mental illness and the various services that are available. The patient also learns of the recovery skills, become involved in different groups and starts to actively participate in group activities and to connect freely with his or her peers.


This is a stage where difficulty of the recovery process takes place. It requires the patient to work hard in order to forge a positive identity in the society. The rebuilding process involves planning, setting, and working towards various positive personally valued goals and may entail reassessing of the previous goals and values. The stage mainly involves taking personalized responsibility for managing the mental illness and greatly involves taking control of an individual’s personal life. Therefore, taking a variety of risks, suffering the effects of setbacks and persistent trials are significant elements in this stage.


This is the final stage of the recovery model. It can be considered as the main outcome stage of the recovery process. Andersen et al, indicates that the patient may not be completely free of the illness symptoms, but is aware of the different ways of managing the illness and staying well with the illness. The patient is resilient amidst different setbacks, possesses strong faith in his abilities to pull through, and generally maintains positive outlook. The patient has the capability of leading a full and meaningful life and is optimistic of his or her future life. Andersen et al, points that the patient at this stage has high self esteem and feels that the experience has had positive impact in his life than before.

Part C: Peter’s Case study

One of the important things to communicate to Peter is to have hope. He should be hopeful about his life and optimistic about the prison sentence in his birth country and look forward to positive side of life since he has a working visa and at least has a job. Concerning his alcoholic habit, the accident should serve as a specific example on the effects of his actions and the advantages of taking responsibility in his endeavors.

Part D: Stephen’s Case Study

Stephen is generally depressed. Stephen’s employment, friends, family and self will generally be negatively impacted. For instance, he is likely to lack enough energy to pursue his normal daily routines and do things with his family and friend. As such his career and employment will be affected: he is liable to being slow in his work and less productive. Socially, he is likely to lack interest in friends and family and will be less likely to enjoy their company and participate in some of the shared activities.

Stephen’s family and friends can support him by offering hopes and encouragement. This primarily entails communicating with Stephen in a language that he understands better and respond to while in that depressed mind frame. They should get Stephen to admit the various problems that he faces and assist him see that the various problems can be solved.

Stephen need to exercise some form of control despite his condition. He should embrace some simple changes in his lifestyle. He should be positive and optimistic in his life; exercise daily; challenge the various negative voices and notions in his head; avoid isolation and spare some time to relax and rest.

His family and carers can be assisted with further ways of coping up with Stephen’s condition. People who care for the depressed sometimes are overwhelmed and therefore it is important for other people to pitch in. In addition, they should also get professional advice from a therapist or a doctor on ways to deal with Stephen’s condition.


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