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Psychiatr Serv. 2012 Jul;63(7):702-4. doi: 10.1176/

Everyday solutions for everyday problems: how mental health systems can support recovery.

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King’s College London, Health Service and Population Research Department, Institute of Psychiatry, Denmark Hill, Box P029, London SE5 8AF, United Kingdom.


People who experience mental illness can be viewed as either fundamentally different than, or fundamentally like, everyone else in society. Recovery-oriented mental health systems focus on commonality. In practice, this involves an orientation toward supporting everyday solutions for everyday problems rather than providing specialist treatments for mental illness-related problems. This change is evident in relation to help offered with housing, employment, relationships, and spirituality. Interventions may contribute to the process of striving for a life worth living, but they are a means, not an end. Mental health systems that offer treatments in support of an individual's life goals are very different than those that treat patients in their best interests. The strongest contribution of mental health services to recovery is to support everyday solutions to everyday problems.

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