To belong, contribute, and hope: first stage development of a measure of social recovery


By bhadmin February 2, 2021

Recovery from mental health challenges is beginning to be explored as an inherently social process. There is a need to measure social recovery. Targeted measures would be utilized in needs assessment, service delivery, and program evaluation. This paper reports on the first stage of development of a social recovery measure. Explore the social aspects of recovery as reported by individuals with lived experience. A qualitative study using thematic analysis of data from focus groups with 41 individuals in recovery. Three meta-themes of social recovery emerged: community, self-concept, and capacities. Each theme contained a number of sub-themes concerned with a sense of belonging, inherent acceptability of the self, and ability to cope with mental distress and engage socially. Study participants clearly spoke to common human needs to belong, contribute, and have hope for one’s future. Findings converged with results of consumer-led research that emphasize the importance of overcoming the impact of illness on the self and social context.

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