‘Recovery’ in mental health: who judges, on what grounds, with what evidence, and which arguments?


Centre for Medical Humanities Blog

The medical humanities have contributed greatly to research that addresses – conceptually, historically and empirically – whose perspective(s) are (and should be) privileged when judging the contours of illness and health. One research arena in which these questions currently have particular salience and urgency is that of research on ‘recovery’ in mental health.

The October 2012 issue of the open access journal World Psychiatry (the official journal of the World Psychiatric Association) features a forum on “Consumer Models of Recovery: Issues and Perspectives”. In the target article “Issues and developments on [sic] the consumer recovery construct” Alan Bellack and Amy Drapalski argue that while the ‘consumer recovery model has had increasing influence on mental health practices in the United States, Western Europe, and several other countries’, the model’s adoption has derived from ‘political decisions rather than empirical evidence of [its] validity … or its value for treatment services’…

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