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Making recovery a reality for family and friends

Ruth Chandler (Sussex Partnership NHS Foundation Trust, Worthing, UK)
Julie Repper (School of Nursing, Midwifery and Physiotherapy, Queen's Medical Center, University of Nottingham, Nottingham, UK)

The Journal of Mental Health Training, Education and Practice

ISSN: 1755-6228

Article publication date: 15 March 2011




This paper aims to build on the Sainsbury Centre for Mental Health (now Centre for Mental Health) workshops by focusing on the recovery of family and friends in particular.


There are already policy supports for the well being of family and friends but at present, their recovery has been overshadowed by the recovery of people who use services. Taking hope, agency and opportunity as key recovery tenets, we use life story work (LSW) to explore this gap and further a relational approach between people who give care, people who use services and people who provide them.


The loop between existing policy and recovery oriented practice should be closed, suggesting LSW as a training platform to consider the humanity of family and friends as of equal worth to people who use services and people who provide them.


The authors argue that without equal consideration and support, family and friends are at risk of becoming hopeless as their sense of agency and access to opportunities diminish. LSW with family and friends paints a consistently worrying picture of the quality of engagement with services which are not sufficiently resourced to offer an integrated approach to recovery. Without such an approach, however, the effectiveness of recovery‐oriented practice may be compromised by the creation of new cycles of hopelessness.



Chandler, R. and Repper, J. (2011), "Making recovery a reality for family and friends", The Journal of Mental Health Training, Education and Practice, Vol. 6 No. 1, pp. 29-37.



Emerald Group Publishing Limited

Copyright © 2011, Emerald Group Publishing Limited

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