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Recovery Approach in Mental Health Care

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Mental health refers to our psychological, emotional, and social well-being, where an individual realizes his/her capacity and can handle the normal stress of life. It is the way people feel, behave, and think. Mental health is essential in every stage of life, from childhood to adolescence through adulthood. Basic human psychological needs like self-actualization, self-esteem needs, belongingness, and love need, safety needs, and psychological needs are the needs that are related to a human being's mental health. If these needs are not fulfilled, it may be difficult for an individual to lead a healthy mental life. The recovery approach to mental health emphasizes and supports an individual's ability for recovery. During this recovery, an individual faces many challenges in society that may demotivate them and slow recovery. This essay intends to argue on human psychological needs and their relationship with mental health and how the recovery approach is applied in mental health care.

Mental health is a condition of health where a person recognizes his/her capacity and can deal with the normal stress of life to contribute to his/her community and work profitably. Many elements contribute to mental health problems like life experience, family history, biological factors. Suppose an individual is experiencing at least one of the following behaviours (, 2020). In that case, it can be the beginning of a problem: feeling hopeless or helpless, feeling like nothing matters or numb, having no energy or feeling low, fighting with friends and family, drinking, smoking or drug use more than ever, thinking of harming one own self and others are some of the behaviours that a person experienced at the beginning of the problem. Mental health is also dependent on the basic psychological needs of a person.

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Abraham Maslow, one of the American psychologists, argued that if a person fails to fulfil his/her needs at different stages of the hierarchy may lead to a psychiatric issue or mental health problems. Maslow's hierarchy of needs is described in 5 stages (Mathes, 1981). The first need in Maslow's need hierarchy is psychological needs. These are the basic needs for human survival. These needs have to be satisfied for a human body to function properly. For example- water, shelter, food, air, sex. The second need is safety needs. It talks about a person's safety and security, whether it is personal safety or financial safety. For example, employment, security guard, house. The third level of Maslow's hierarchy of needs is belongingness and love need. Feeling loved and intimated is one of the most important needs. This need is for the interpersonal relationship, which motivates behaviour. For example, love, trust, friendship, family. Esteem needs are the fourth level of Maslow's hierarchy of needs. It is defined as the need for reputation or respect; many individuals need to fulfil their self-esteem or dignity. The last level of need is the self-actualization need. It is a need that people have to give their best to achieve their full potential as a human being. It is the full use of potentiality, capability, the talent of a person. One has to know about his potential and his interest and work on it. Mental health is dependent on these needs. If a person whose physiological needs are not fulfilled, he/she may not survive or may become sick. When the need for safety is not fulfilled, then post-traumatic stress may arise. Human beings who cannot feel love and belonging may suffer from anxiety or depression. The absence of self-esteem or inability to self-actualize may as well suffer from depression and anxiety. Even if any one of these needs is not fulfilled, it will lead to instability, and cope with this instability; mental health issues may generate because the basic needs are not fulfilled (Help et al., 2020).

Mental health issues are common, and help is also available. Individuals with mental health problems may improve, and many people recover completely. The recovery approach of mental health emphasizes and supports an individual's ability for recovery (, 2020). Recovery is a very personal procedure for every individual. There are several signs of recovery, and all have been categorized under a concept of CHIME (Connectedness, Hope and optimism, Identify, Meaning, and Purpose of Empowerment). Connectedness is a common feature of recovery that requires reciprocity and compassion in relationships. It is said that when any person is in the process of recovery, then the presence of others who believes in them and stands by them will increase the rate of recovery. An individual requires emotional availability, respect, and reliability. Although mental health experts offer a restricted type of assistance and relationships, but relationships with community, family, and friends are of greater importance. Hope the second sign of recovery and is said as the main feature of recovery. It is not just that one has to be optimized but should also have a sustainable belief and willingness to maintain through incertitude and setbacks. Hope may emerge gradually, or it may be a certain turning point and may vary with depression. It should also include risking disappointment and trusting further hurt and failure. Identifying and accepting one's mental health is an important element. People sometimes accomplish this by 'positive withdrawal' the process is generally facilitated by the experiences of mutuality, interpersonal relationship, and a sense of social belonging. When an individual is ready for change, grieving is commenced; here, one should accept the sufferings in the past and the lost opportunities and time. The progress of self-management, which includes self-help and coping strategies, is also an important factor. It may include psychotherapy and meditation. Here, the patient is fully aware of everything and the approaches that will fit the journey of recovery of the consumer's life. To develop problem-solving and coping skills, one may require to be own expert; to identify stress points and turn points, one may develop personal coping and responding ways. In the recovery approach constructing a positive approach to healing is essential. Since the process of recovery is very long, a strong supporting system can be beneficial. Increasing an individual's self-sufficiency by the violence-free environment, inadequate shelter, sufficient income, medical care support are important instruments in increasing self-sufficiency. It is suggested that women understand their rights to enhance their capacity to make independent choices, which will help them recover from mental illness. It may build confidence for independent decision-making, which will help them with proper medications and self-support. Achieving and overcoming challenges like prejudice thinking about mental health and social stigma is also an important part of empowerment. Some other approaches help recover mental health like an individual should have a safe and stable place. A person should be involved in daily life activities like job or school, caring for family, income, he/she should have a purpose of living. One should establish social networks and relationships that provide support to the individual. Social interaction is very challenging as one has to overcome with fear and anxiety while dealing with new people and their acceptance. Ssocial acceptance, as well as self-acceptance, is also a very important factor. In general, people may have prejudiced thinking about the individual and treat them differently, for which the person may face difficulty in self-acceptance. People with a mental health problem may find it difficult to get a job or get admission to school as they require a frequent check on their behaviour. The general public may have different behaviour towards mental health people, making them isolate themselves from the general public. In some cases, parents abandon their children facing mental health problems by not protecting them or not giving them basic needs, or treating them differently from their other children. In these cases, people suffering from mental health problems find it difficult to reach out to people, and they end up isolating themselves, which slows their recovery rate.

It can be concluded from the above discussion that mental health is as important as much as any physical health. When basic needs are not fulfilled, it may lead to disturbance in mental health. As per Maslow's need hierarchy, basic needs are physiological needs, safety needs, belongingness, and love need, esteem needs, and self-actualization needs are the most important needs of human life. If these needs are not fulfilled, then it may lead to a breakdown in mental health. A mental health patient may face difficulties in society during their recovery stage like self-acceptance, social-acceptance, different behaviour from other parent's abandonment. These behaviours generally slower the recovery process. The recovery approach of mental health emphasizes and supports an individual's recovery ability. The recovery approach involves connectedness, hope and optimism, identify, meaning and purpose of empowerment. Connectedness is required compassion in a relationship. Inter-personal relationships with peer’s family may help them in recovery. Being positive is one of the important factors in the recovery process. Identifying and accepting one mental condition can motivate them to cope with the problem. Development in problem-solving skills and to identify the stress point may help the individual to recover. Freedom from violence, having proper access to health care, and having appropriate shelter may also help an individual to resolve their mental health problem.


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Recovery Approach in Mental Health Care. (2022, September 01). Edubirdie. Retrieved February 29, 2024, from
“Recovery Approach in Mental Health Care.” Edubirdie, 01 Sept. 2022,
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