Recovery: Hope Changes Everything

Recovery is possible and real for individuals living with
mental health problems and mental illnesses.

  • Recovery
  • Definitions
  • Graphic
  • Resources

The Mental Health & Addictions Care Branch has initiated work to support the transformation of the current mental health system to become more recovery-oriented. A recovery oriented mental health system creates environments that provide hope, empowerment, acceptance, choices, and opportunities to people with lived experience, their families and natural supports. This work includes forming an advisory committee, the Provincial Recovery Champions Committee, in April 2014, to provide recommendations to the Branch related to this work. In partnership with the Provincial Recovery Champions Committee the following has been accomplished: 

  • Developed a common definition for recovery and recovery-oriented mental health services;
  • Conducted a provincial scan on recovery-oriented practices;
  • Hosted Provincial Recovery Working Days on June 9th and 10th with key stakeholders from across Manitoba to learn more about recovery and system transformation from international recovery expert, Dr. Mike Slade; inform the development of service level outcome indicators for Manitoba’s mental health system (Hope Changes Everything: A Guide to Recovery-Oriented System Transformation in Manitoba pdf); and
  • Created and launched a provincial educational video on recovery and system transformation that will serve as a tool for continuing the discussion around transforming the mental health system to be recovery oriented.
Recovery:  Hope Changes Everything - Toward System Transformation

Video courtesy of the Manitoba Schizophrenia Society and the Provincial Recovery Champions Committee, hosted on YouTube. Click image to play.

What is Recovery?

Recovery is a journey of healing and growth that is owned by and unique to each individual. 

  • Recovery builds on individual, family, spiritual, cultural and community strengths and enables a person to live a resilient, meaningful, and satisfying life of their choice in the community, in the presence or absence of symptoms of mental health problems and illnesses. 
  • Recovery is nurtured by relationships with self and others, and by environments that provide hope, empowerment, acceptance, choices, and opportunities. 
  • Family members, service providers, peers, and others may be partners in one’s journey of recovery.
What is a Recovery Oriented Mental Health System?

While recovery is owned by and unique to each individual, mental health services have an important role in creating an environment that supports, and does not interfere with, people’s recovery efforts. 

  • Supporting personal recovery is the first and main goal of recovery-oriented mental health services. Providing treatment can be an important contribution towards this goal, but is a means not an end. Similarly, intervening in crisis or addressing risk issues may sometimes need to take precedence, but should be oriented around the primary goal of supporting recovery.  
  • Service providers, including peer support workers, work in a manner that supports wellness and focuses on strengths. 
  • Recovery-oriented practice emphasizes hope, social inclusion, acceptance, choice, community participation, personal goal setting, and self-management. 
  • Recovery-oriented practice involves a holistic approach that addresses a range of factors that impact on people’s wellbeing, such as housing, education and employment, and family and social relationships. 
  • In recovery-oriented service and practice, service providers consider how responsibility, information, and power are shared and discuss this as they engage with those who access mental health services.

The recovery graphic identifier (seen above) was generously created by Kait Evinger, artist from Artbeat Studio and Project Coordinator at Upbeat Artworks. Artbeat Studio is a mental health consumer initiative, peer directed and recovery oriented program that provides opportunity to engage in creative expression for the purpose of promoting recovery and empowerment through art activity.

Kait describes the graphic identifier in the following way:

The circle represents the coming together of Mental Health Ambassadors for the furthering of recovery. The multi-coloured mandela is used to represent a holistic process of healing which encompasses not only a medical approach to healing but a varied and total vision of wellness. Forward motion was the desired aesthetic theme throughout creation. The colour palette chosen was meant to be bright and uplifting, but also a comprehensive spectrum to indicate the population represented by people with lived experience.

For Everyone:

The following is a series of factsheets (in pdf format) that have been developed to help people understand what recovery is, how they can support recovery and what a recovery-oriented mental health system can look like. Each factsheet describes one of the ten transformation priorities or goals found in the document: Hope Changes Everything: A Guide to Recovery-Oriented System Transformation in Manitoba.

  • Belonging – We know there is more to your life and recovery journey than just receiving medical care. We will work with you to find community-based services and opportunities that support your goals. This factsheet describes transformation priority #4: “Increasing opportunities for building a life beyond illness.”
  • Choice – Together, let's plan a future that reflects your choices, values, goals, hopes and dreams. This factsheet describes transformation priority #9: "A range of recovery-oriented, evidence-informed practices, services and supports are available in the community to increase personalization and choice."
  • Dignity – Mental health service providers respect your right to make decisions about your life. We will help you find the balanced information you need to make informed decisions, and will support you to choose from a full range of options.
  • Experts – This factsheet describes transformation priority #6: “People with lived experience of mental health problems or illnesses and family members are contributors in improving services and their input is seen as critical for the design, delivery and review of services.”
  • Family – Working together with those who matter most to you, we build on strengths. This factsheet describes transformation priority #7: “The unique role of personal and family relationships in promoting well-being, providing care and fostering recovery across the lifespan is recognized, valued and supported.”
  • Hope – Hope is believing and expecting that things can be better for you than they are now, that recovery is possible! Feeling positive about the future is vital for mental health and well-being.
  • Leadership – Finding a better way requires knowledgeable and dedicated people to take the lead.
  • Organizational Commitment – Supporting personal recovery is the first and main goal of mental health services, and this requires a competent, committed, knowledgeable, skilled, and diverse workforce.
  • Peers – Sometimes the best people to speak to are those with similar life experiences.
  • Respect – Together, we start with what matters most to you. This factsheet describes transformation priority #1: “Providers will seek flexible ways to change the experience and day to day interactions with individuals.”
  • Mental Health Commission of Canada’s Recovery Resources & Tools:
    • National Guidelines for Recovery-Oriented Practice pdfThe first comprehensive Canadian reference document for understanding recovery in practice and promoting a consistent application of recovery principles across the country at a policy, program and practice level. 
    • Canadian Recovery InventoryProvides a broad range of recovery-oriented policies, programs, practices, and research, as well as personal accounts. It allows users to search by keyword, resource type, topic, geographic location, and language to find resources relevant to your needs and interests.
    • Recovery DeclarationInitiated by the Mental Health Commission of Canada to promote an understanding of key recovery principles and stimulate dialogue about implementing recovery-oriented approaches. 
  • Spirit of RecoveryA resource for people with lived experience interested in spirituality.
For Service Providers:
  • Hope Changes EverythingHope Changes Everything: A Guide to Recovery-Oriented System Transformation in Manitoba pdf
    This document is intended to guide the transformation of Manitoba's mental health system to one that is more recovery oriented. Regional recovery committees have been developed in each region across Manitoba. These committees are comprised of people with lived experience of mental health problems and illnesses and their family members; Regional Health Authorities; mental health self-help agencies and other organizations. Together they will utilize this document to guide their transformation work and measure their efforts to become more recovery oriented. Individual organizations are also encouraged to utilize the document to self-evaluate their existing recovery work and identify areas for improvement.
  • 100 Ways to Support Recovery: a Guide for Mental Health Professionals by Dr. Mike Slade pdf – A guide for mental health staff which aims to support the development of a focus on recovery within our services.  It provides different ideas for working with service users in a recovery-oriented fashion.
  • “Measuring Recovery in Mental Health Services” by Dr. Mike Slade pdf – An article that discusses the evaluation of recovery in mental health services.
International Resources: