Factsheet: Recovery

This factsheet is available in a downloadable PDF here. 

The Key Messages About Recovery Are That:

  • People can and do recover from even the most severe mental health problems
  • Recovery means having the opportunity to live a satisfying and fulfilling life in the presence or absence of ongoing symptoms
  • No two people’s recovery journey or experience will be the same

With the right help and support, people can and do recover from even the most severe problems. It can be difficult to see things can ever get better and when you are unwell things sometimes seem pretty hopeless, but to improve the chances of recovery it’s important to keep a positive attitude- a level of hope and an expectation that you can and will recover. (Scottish Association for Mental Health)

Promoting and supporting recovery is one of the four main aims of the National Programme for improving Mental Health and Wellbeing action plan 2003-2006 (Scottish Executive) and is one of the fourteen key commitments of

‘Delivering for Mental Health’ (Scottish Executive) recently published in December 2006.

A Joint Mental Health and Wellbeing Strategy for Lothian 2005-2010 is also committed to ensuring that a recovery ethos is at the centre of service delivery with measurement of this being realised through the adoption of care planning processes which go beyond focusing on symptoms and problems to be overcome and instead engages with the whole person as a social-being with needs, hopes and ambitions.  

Local recovery network services to a certain extent are still being established. The Lothian Recovery Network steering group have created a new strategic document about recovery across Lothian ‘A Plan for Action’.  This plan enables a recovery ethos to be adopted.  For more information on this and Lothian Recovery Network :

Email: [email protected]

External websites related to Recovery

These web sites may be useful. Please note that we are not responsible for external sites; if you find any broken links or inappropriate content please report it to the site administrators using the feedback page.

  • see me

    The 'see me' campaign was launched in October 2002 to challenge stigma and discrimination around mental ill-health in Scotland.  The campaign is run by an alliance of five scottish mental health organisations: Highland Users Group (HUG); National Schizophrenia Fellowship (Scotland); Penumbra; The Royal College of Psychiatrists (Scottish Division) and the Scottish Association for Mental Health.


    The campaign combines an award-winning national publicity programme with local and natioanl anti-stigma action developed in partnership with like-minded groups and inviduals across all sectors of Scottish life.  Individuals who have experienced stigma are involved in many aspects of the campaign, and includes those prepared to talk to the media about the impact stigma has had on their lives.

  • Penumbra

    Penumbra is a leading Scottish voluntary organisation working in the field of mental health. 

    We provide an extensive range of person-centred and recovery focused support services for adults and young people.

    We also campaign to raise awareness of mental health issues and reduce the social stigma attached to them.

    The Penumbra Edinburgh Area has five support teams providing both supported accommodation and support in peoples own homes, a self harm project and the Edinburgh Crisis Centre.

  • Scottish Association for Mental Health (SAMH)
    Phone the helpline if you have a general enquiry on mental health. Phone: 0141 568 7000 Hours: Opening Hours: 2 p.m. - 4.30 p.m. Monday to Friday
  • Support in mind Scotland
    Support in Mind Scotland works to improve the wellbeing and quality of life of people affected by serious mental illness. This includes those who are family members, carers and supporters.
  • Scottish Recovery Network

    The Scottish Recovery Network (SRN) was formally launched in 2004 as an initiative designed to raise awareness of recovery from mental health problems. Since then interest in the concept of recovery has increased greatly in Scotland. We now understand more about what recovery means to people and are thinking carefully about the implications for the way we support people with mental health issues.

    We are a network in two senses. Firstly SRN was developed out of a loose affiliation of individuals and organisations with a common interest in recovery, and secondly, it has been designed to share information and ideas as quickly as possible.

  • Outside the Box
    Outside the Box are supporting the development of local Recovery Networks.
  • NHS Lothian Site
    NHS Lothian Website

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