In Recovery: The Making of Mental Health Policy

  • ISBN 9780826514554

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For hundreds of years, people diagnosed with mental illness were thought to be hopeless cases, destined to suffer inevitable deterioration. Beginning in the early 1990s, however, providers and policymakers in mental health systems came to promote recovery as their goal. But what does recovery truly mean? For example, to consumers of mental health services, it implies empowerment and greater resources dedicated to healing; to HMOs, it can suggest a means of cost savings when benefits cease upon recovery. This book considers "recovery" from multiple angles. Traditionally, Nora Jacobson notes, recovery was defined as symptom abatement or a return to a normal state of health, but as activists, mental health professionals, and policymakers sought to develop "recovery-oriented" systems, other meanings emerged. Jacobson's analysis describes the complexes of ideas that have defined recovery in various contexts over time.
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