Mental-health experts define ‘recovery’

December 22, 2011|By Shari Roan, Los Angeles Times / For the Booster Shots blog

Recovery is a beautiful word for people suffering from a mental illness or addiction. But what does it mean? A year-long project by experts nationwide has led to a new definition of the term that is meant to help doctors, counselors and policymakers who oversee the field.
And it just might help people who are in recovery, too.
The new definition is thoughtful, if not pithy:
“A process of change through which individuals improve their health and wellness, live a self-directed life, and strive to reach their full potential.”
The definition was announced Thursday by the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration. It’s “a significant milestone in promoting greater public awareness and appreciation for the importance of recovery, and widespread support for the services that can make it a reality for millions of Americans,” said SAMHSA administrator Pamela S. Hyde.
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