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Recovery, Public Mental Health and Wellbeing

Implementing Recovery through Organisational Change

Recovery is concerned with living a life beyond illness (Shepherd et al., 2008). While the ideas of recovery and recovery-oriented practice have the potential to transform mental health services, we need to look beyond what is provided by these services and examine the whole range of resources and opportunities that can support quality of life, full citizenship and human rights for people with mental health problems.

Recent developments in public health, notably the emphasis on mental health and wellbeing, can contribute to a greater orientation towards recovery – in local systems and in services, as well as in communities. The public health responsibilities of local councils, as well as the development of Health and Wellbeing Boards, are prompting creative thinking about what supports recovery where people live, as well as the benefits of greater integration between mental health services and public mental health and a more holistic approach to mental and physical health.

This paper outlines how public mental health and the growing ‘wellbeing’ movement can contribute to one of the key challenges for recovery: increasing opportunities for building a life beyond illness (Sainsbury Centre for Mental Health, 2009a), keeping in mind the principles of respect for people’s self determination, choice, control and potential, as well as for support that does not undermine citizenship. Introduction

It sets out the ways that health care providers, those using or working in mental health services, voluntary groups, commissioners of services, colleagues in public health and those with a role, or potential role, on Health and Wellbeing Boards, can support recovery through the development of public health and community based approaches. Health and Wellbeing boards have the potential to influence commissioning that promotes and protects mental wellbeing and supports recovery. We conclude by outlining 12 opportunities for these boards to support recovery-oriented commissioning.