Recovery is about learning the skills and tools to be able to take back your own power and recover control of your life. Recovery is a unique journey for each person - we are all different and that means we can each benefit from different supports and discover different ways to help ourselves.

The fact that recovery does take place has been shown through thousands of personal life stories and has long been acknowledged.  Recovery is a process rather than an end point; it is an individual journey of change or a process of improving your well-being.  Recovery applies to all of us regardless of our situation or circumstances.

What you feel and think and how you want to move towards balancing, regaining or maintaining your mental health is very personal.  No one approach or support will be enough on its own. Most people find it useful to have a wide range of information and supports to help them on their recovery journey.

Many people experience recovery as a gradual thing rather than something that happens overnight. Often it is experienced as two steps forward, one step back rather than as a straight pathway. By trial and error people come to realise what strategies, skills and supports are available, and what works and does not work for them.

Understanding recovery

Lots of research has been done on what helps recovery. This research found that there are five key things that are important in helping people in their recovery. These tend to be linked to each other, so working on one may also improve other areas of your life:

Hope People can and do recover – there is lots of evidence that demonstrates this. Even the smallest belief that we can get better when we are unwell or are struggling, can help to keep us going and can move the recovery process along for us.

Personal responsibility You know best what works and does not work for you and what you want and need on your journey to wellness. While other people can help you on your recovery journey, it’s your journey and your life. If changes need to be made to help you on your recovery journey, it will be you who will be making those changes.

Education It can help to be learn as much as possible about what you are going through and what is out there to help you. You can do this by looking for information on mental health difficulties, types of services available, advocacy options and supports in your local area.

Self advocacy Self-advocacy is about believing in yourself, knowing your rights, and speaking up for yourself – asking for what you want and need. If you think you might need help in doing this, there are advocacy services that support you to be involved in decisions affecting your life.

Supportive relationships A common aspect of recovery is the presence of others who believe in your potential to recover, and who stand by you and understand you.  It be really useful to have more than one source of support as you will have lots of different needs and different supporters will be able to help at different times and in different areas of your life.

Support groups and recovery programmes

There are lots of support groups, education and recovery programmes in Ireland. Go to Find services to search for supports in your local area.