Recovery in Mental Illness Among Rural Communities

Keith Sutton, Anton Isaacs

    Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter (Book)Otherpeer-review


    Sutton and Isaacs challenge those involved in the rural mental health sector to adopt a new approach to developing rural models of recovery practice. Rural mental health services have been criticized as urban centric. Additionally, although the notion of recovery emerged in the mental health field over thirty years ago, there is little evidence that rural models of recovery practice have been developed. Mental health recovery research to date has focused upon defining, describing, and developing models of recovery practice. However, recovery is context specific and is influenced by local cultural mores, social and economic context, and availability of treatment and support services. The authors therefore advocate for the adoption of a social inclusion approach to developing locally tailored rural models of recovery practice that are designed to address social enablers and barriers to recovery found in rural communities. Specifically, recovery practice should include interventions that address access to community services and supports and strategies to lessen the impact of stigma and discrimination on rural people experiencing mental health problems. Co-design is proposed as a participatory approach to engaging stakeholders, including those from the broader community, into the process of designing, implementing, and evaluating rurally appropriate models of recovery practice. A new approach is required because re-engineering the current rural mental health service system to operate in a recovery focused manner will not adequately address the uniquely rural social challenges to personal recovery.

    Original languageEnglish
    Title of host publicationHandbook of Rural, Remote, and very Remote Mental Health
    EditorsTimothy A. Carey, Judith Gullifer
    Place of PublicationSingapore
    Number of pages25
    ISBN (Electronic)9789811566318
    ISBN (Print)9789811566301
    Publication statusPublished - 2021


    • Mental health
    • Mental illness
    • Recovery
    • Rural
    • Social inclusion

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