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HLST259 Mental Health Nursing

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1. Discusses the meaning of recovery in mental healthcare/ mental health nursing and identifies three (3) principle tenets. Supports answer by referencing literature and evidence, and writes in manner consistent with academic conventions.

Recovery in mental healthcare 

The meaning of Recovery-oriented methods offers a transformative concrete framework for culture practice, and service delivery in mental health services. The lived experience and understandings of people living with mental health issues and their families are at the core of recovery-oriented culture. The notion of recovery was perceived by, and for, people with mental health issues to describe their experiences and journeys and to affirm personal identity beyond the constraints of their diagnoses. Recovery-oriented approaches recognise the value of this lived experience and bring it together with the expertise, knowledge and skills of mental health practitioners, many of whom have experienced mental health issues in their own lives or in their close relationships. Recovery approaches challenge traditional notions of professional power and expertise by helping to break down the conventional demarcation between consumers and staff. Within recovery paradigms all people are respected for the experience, expertise and strengths they contribute. Recovery-oriented approaches focus on the needs of the people who use services rather than on organisational priorities. Personal recovery—a definition there is no single definition or description of recovery. For the purposes of this framework, recovery is defined as ‘being able to create and live a meaningful and contributing life in a community of choice with or without the presence of mental health issues’. Recovery-oriented mental health practice Recovery-oriented mental health practice refers to the application of sets of capabilities that support people to recognise and take responsibility for their own recovery and wellbeing and to define their goals, wishes and aspirations.

(The National framework for Recovery orientated mental health services 2013)


Recovery from mental illness is a process that involves personal decision-making in many areas. Nurses are in a unique position to assist individuals in assessing their personal health status and integrating health behaviours into their recovery plans. The use of assessment tools, motivational interviewing techniques, and recovery planning can help individuals make decisions about their health, try out new behaviours, and integrate healthy living behaviours into a recovery plan and activities. This role of the nurse in this process is outlined, strategies are described, and outcome examples are provided.

Issues in Mental Health Nursing 

Volume 31, 2010 - Issue 8


Uniqueness of the individual

Recovery oriented mental health practice:

Recognises that recovery is not necessarily about cure but is about having opportunities for choices and living a meaningful, satisfying and purposeful life, and being a valued member of the community

Accepts that recovery outcomes are personal and unique for each individual and go beyond an exclusive health focus to include an emphasis on social inclusion and quality of life

Empowers individuals so they recognise that they are at the centre of the care they receive.

Real choices

Recovery oriented mental health practice:

Supports and empowers individuals to make their own choices about how they want to lead their lives and acknowledges choices need to be meaningful and creatively explored

Supports individuals to build on their strengths and take as much responsibility for their lives as they can

Ensures that there is a balance between duty of care and support for individuals to take positive risks and make the most of new opportunities.

Attitudes and rights

Recovery oriented mental health practice:

Involves listening to, learning from and acting upon communications from the individual and their carers about what is important to the individual

Promotes and protects an individual’s legal, citizenship and human rights

Supports individuals to maintain and develop social, recreational, occupational and vocational activities which are meaningful to them

Instils hope in an individual about their future and ability to live a meaningful life.

(Department of Health Principles of Recovery orientated mental health 2010)


2. Discusses how recovery is applied in mental health nursing, and or mental healthcare in general

Promote collaborative relationships to foster understanding of each person’s strengths, wishes and opportunities.

  • Respond to the strengths, preferences, concerns, needs, goals and values of individuals.
  • Respond to the things, people, activities and roles that people identify as important to their wellbeing and recovery and minimise the impact of mental health care on these things.
  • Promote decision making led by people with a mental illness, in accordance with each person’s values, needs, circumstances and resources.
  • Demonstrate empathy and resourcefulness in communicating with and responding to people.
  • Actively challenge stigmatising attitudes within the service and the broader community.
  • Use people’s existing support networks.
  • Use interventions that promote people’s personal agency, self-esteem and overall wellness.
  • Use active listening and respond to people’s views, understandings of their experiences and advice on what they find helpful.
  • Use person-centred and optimistic language that promotes hopefulness.
  • Use practice that responds to gender, sexuality, culture, family and community.
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