You’re in recovery. You know someone in recovery. You’ve heard of recovery but you’re not really sure what it means. We hear you. So, what does it mean?

Recovery refers to a process of healing where people with mental health problems, mental illness or an addiction are empowered to make informed choices about their supports, services and treatment that allow them to live a hopeful and satisfying life.Recovery does not necessarily mean “cured”. Rather, it is a process that happens within individuals. The beginnings of recovery occur when people feel they are able to make decisions regarding their lives, take personal responsibility for those decisions and have hope for themselves and the future. This has been difficult for many with mental illness, particularly because stigmatizing language and attitudes create shame and take away a person’s power. Stigma works against recovery. As a community, we need to support each other and understand that one in five of us will experience a mental illness this year and recovery is possible, even with symptoms.

  • Remember, recovery doesn’t mean healed. People in recovery are still healing, learning to manage their condition or learning to break free from negative aspects of the past.
  • The word recovery and the stages of recovery vary from person to person. We’re all unique. Celebrate diversity in our approach to mental health and balance in life through learning that the path to recovery is part of the process. Individuals reach different milestones at different points in the journey.
  • Never, ever judge. Make listening a priority!
  • Encourage a healthy lifestyle in all ways—especially for sleeping, eating and stress reduction.
  • Try to reduce stress in the life of your loved one.
  • Learn about the recovery process and find out what treatment milestones your loved one has set for themselves or read up on the latest recovery information related to the particular situation.