University of Hertfordshire

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The Place of Social Recovery in Mental Health and Related Services

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


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Original languageEnglish
Article number1052
JournalInternational Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health
Publication statusPublished - 23 May 2018


This article looks at the place of social recovery in mental health and social care services, alongside personal recovery. Despite its conceptual and practice centrality to the new meaning of recovery, social recovery has remained a relatively neglected dimension. This article attempts to provide an updated critical commentary based on findings from fifty nine studies, including
a variety of research methodologies and methods. Definitions of social recovery within the new meaning of recovery are looked at. This is followed by outlining the development and significance of this dimension as reflected in the key areas of shared decision making, co-production and active citizenship, re-entering employment after experiencing mental ill health, being in employment,
poverty and coping with poverty, the economic and the scientific cases for social recovery. The article highlights the connections between service users’ experiencing mental health and social care systems, and the implications of ideologies and policies reflecting positions on social recovery. The complexity
of social recovery is indicated in each of these areas; the related conceptual and methodological frameworks developed to research this dimension, and key achievements and barriers concerning everyday practice application of social recovery. The summary indicates potential future development perspectives of this dimension.


This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited. (CC BY 4.0).

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