Recovery values and practice are the driving force which underpins all aspects of service delivery at Network for Change. Within a mental health context Recovery is not limited to clinical recovery i.e. being permanently symptom-free, but offers a dynamic new vision for services which offers real hope to everyone.

“Recovery is not about getting rid of problems. It is about seeing people beyond their problems – their abilities, possibilities, interests and dreams – and recovering the social roles and responsibilities that give life value and meaning”
(Repper and Perkins 2003)

“Services of the future will talk as much about recovery as they do about symptoms and illness….we need to create an optimistic, positive approach to all people who use mental health services, driven by the right values and attitudes…

The mental health system must support people in settings of their own choosing, enable access to community resources including housing, education and work, friendships etc – or whatever they think is critical to their own recovery”
(The Journey to Recovery DOH 2001)

The Recovery movement originated with the experiences of service users themselves and recognition that their expertise rather than professional interventions could best inform ways of achieving and maintaining ‘wellness’.

Individual’s narratives or life stories frequently tell of how their mental health problems have been triggered by adverse life experiences or trauma and how they have overcome these to get their lives ‘back on track’. People who find themselves labelled ‘mentally ill’ frequently face stigma and discrimination and feel helpless and hopeless about their lives. Recovery approaches can be inspirational in providing opportunity for people who have ‘been there, done that’ and moved on with their lives to support and share ideas and coping strategies with others.

Recovery also acknowledges that access to good relationships where individuals feel valued and listened to, and their own understanding of their distress and experiences is validated, often proves a turning point in people’s lives. Therefore, we place the need to build positive, trusting therapeutic relationships at the heart of our working practice. We aim to provide a level and style of support which meets the needs of the individual, focuses on the whole person rather than any diagnostic assumptions and enables social inclusion. The organisation remains concerned about the over-reliance on drug treatment ‘solutions’ to mental distress and believe these can never provide a cure in themselves.

Treating clients with dignity, respect and compassion at all times, and encouraging self-responsibility as empowering of self-esteem is also integral to our values and practice.

“Recovery is a process, a way of life, an attitude and a way of approaching the day’s challenges”
(P.E. Deegan ‘The Road to recovery: a personal journey 2003)

“Recovery is a process of self-discovery, self-renewal and transformation”
(Boston University Centre for Psychiatric Rehabilitation 1994)

“Recovery is about being connected to individual people, sharing their humanity and being able to provide support or give a kick up the backside out of love”
(Derek Turner, Mental Health Consultant)

“My Recovery was about how to gain people’s confidence in my abilities and potential”
(Dr Rufus May, Clinical Psychologist, previously diagnosed with schizophrenia)

“Recovery means helping service users move on and take hold of the steering wheel in their lives”
(Janet Stokes, Network service user)

Network’s Code Of Practice, containing info on: values & practice principles; vision mission & aims; positive working relationships; positive outcomes; challenging stigma & promoting equality; supporting personal recovery can be downloaded below as can our latest Annual Report and General information booklet.