The implications of adopting a human rights approach to recovery in practice
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The implications of adopting a human rights approach to recovery in practice

Ruth Forrest Care co-ordinator, Merton & Sutton Early Intervention Service and honorary lecturer, St George’s University London

Of the various interpretations of the recovery model, Ruth Forrest favours the type of support that helps to overcome the power imbalance inherent in the therapeutic relationship

This article proposes a human rights-based definition of recovery in response to the differing interpretations of the concept among professionals and people using services. Such a definition resolves the issue of incongruity between recovery as a personal responsibility, and the notion that it can require professional intervention. Individual practice is considered in the context of the political landscape, practical implications are suggested and it is demonstrated that human rights are integral to the principles of recovery in mental health.

The article concludes that when applying this definition of recovery it is more meaningful to measure the recovery orientation of professionals and services than recovery ‘outcomes’ for people using services.

Mental Health Practice. 17, 8, 29-33. doi: 10.7748/mhp2014.


Peer review

This article has been subject to double blind peer review

Conflict of interest

None declared

Received: 30 April 2013

Accepted: 19 July 2013

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