From Exclusion to Belonging:

Transforming Mental Health Care in America

The Vision: A Life in the Community for Everyone

The Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration

The Centers and Offices
Transforming Mental Health Care in America
The New Federal Leadership
The Challenge
Highlights of the Federal Action Agenda
Components of Recovery
National Consensus Statement on Mental Health Recovery
Programs of Transformation
Making It Count






Components of Recovery

Recovery is cited, within Transforming Mental Health Care in America, Federal Action Agenda: First Steps, as the "single most important goal" for the mental health service delivery system. We know that many children, adults, and older adults can and do recover from mental illnesses. For those individuals who cannot reach the full alleviation of the signs and symptoms of mental illness, recovery can entail the process they go through to achieve their highest level of functioning and community participation.

To clearly define recovery, SAMHSA, within the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, and the Interagency Committee on Disability Research in partnership with six other Federal agencies convened the National Consensus Conference on Mental Health Recovery and Mental Health Systems Transformation on December 16-17, 2004.

More than 110 expert panelists participated, including mental health consumers, family members, providers, advocates, researchers, academicians, managed care representatives, accreditation organization representatives, State and local public officials, and others. A series of technical papers and reports were commissioned that examined topics such as recovery across the lifespan, definitions of recovery, recovery in cultural contexts, the intersection of mental health and addictions recovery, and the application of recovery at individual, family, community, provider, organizational, and systems levels.

Mental health recovery is a journey of healing and transformation enabling a person with a mental health problem to live a meaningful life in a community of his or her choice, while striving to achieve his or her full potential.

 Components of Recovery

  • Individualized and Person-Centered
  • Self-Direction
  • Hope
  • Responsibility
  • Empowerment
  • Respect
  • Peer Support
  • Strengths-Based
  • Non-Linear
  • Holistic