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Psychiatr Rehabil J. 2007 Summer;31(1):9-22.

An analysis of the definitions and elements of recovery: a review of the literature.

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  • 1University of Hawai'i at Mānoa, Mental Health Services Research, Evaluation and Training, Honolulu 96822, USA.


As mental health recovery gains traction, many people have put forward varying definitions. Few attempts have been made to create a dimensional analysis of the recovery literature that assesses the growing consensus about what recovery is or what its definition should entail. This paper incorporates an ecological framework to take the individual's life context into account while emphasizing both the reestablishment of one's mental health (i.e., first order change) and the mitigation of the oppressive nature of barriers imposed by the greater community (i.e., second order change) so that people may experience social integration and community inclusion.

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