‘Surviving out of the Ashes’: An exploration of Mental Health Recovery in Young Adulthood in Northern Ireland

Dr Claire McCauley, Prof Hugh Mc Kenna, Dr Sinead Keeney and Dr Derek McLaughlin (Ulster)

In response to the Bamford Review (2005) recommendations, the Service Framework for Mental Health and Well-being (DHSSPS 2010) indicated mental health recovery must be at the heart of all service and strategy development. This, the first study of its kind, explored young adult service user’s perspectives on mental health recovery in NI. This research identifies the factors that most impact on recovery. It proposes that there must be a definition of mental health recovery, personalised for young people here, and that their experiences must be used to inform decisions on service provision. It finds that the considerable risks to young adult’s lives of a generic and service orientated understanding of mental health recovery must be understood by legislators and policy-makers. The research findings make an important, positive contribution to our understanding of mental health recovery, and to the policy changes and service developments that are ultimately required to help service users. For example, findings indicate specific and targetable barriers, the removal of which would significantly improve a young adult’s perception of the achievability of mental health recovery in their life. Findings also identify specific areas in which tailored information, education and service provision are able to significantly promote the process of mental health recovering in the young adult demographic. The briefing will identify the actions policy-makers can take to ensure mental health recovery is understood and articulated by young adults to provide them with an effective wellness strategy for life.

Date of seminar: 8 March 2017.

Policy Briefing