What is the issue?

A person experiencing ongoing symptoms of a mental health problem or illness and/or substance use can still live a satisfying, hopeful, and contributing life. The pursuit of that journey is at the heart of “recovery,” a concept whose principles include hope, dignity, self-determination, and responsibility.

Recovery is widely embraced by people with lived and living experience, practitioners, service providers, and policy makers, and it is recognized as central to improving mental health systems and outcomes in Canada and around the world.

Recovery-oriented practice involves a range of services and supports to meet a person’s goals and needs, while recognizing that

  • each person is unique and has the right to determine their own path toward mental health and well-being
  • societies include many intersecting factors (biological, psychological, social, economic, cultural, and spiritual) that have an impact on mental health and well-being.


What are we doing?

We are committed to accelerating the shift toward recovery-oriented practice. The following resources are designed to assist you in its implementation:

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Guidelines for Recovery-Oriented Practice
Created to help practitioners, administrators, and policy and decision makers generate the cultural shifts needed to establish a recovery-oriented health system


Putting Recovery into Practice: An Introduction to the Guidelines for Recovery-Oriented Practice
A summary of the Guidelines with an overview of recovery-oriented principles, meant for anyone with a stake in mental health care


Recovery Declaration
An online record that lets corporations, community organizations, government agencies, and individuals show their commitment to recovery and encourage dialogue


Recovery Inventory
A searchable repository of recovery-oriented policies, programs, practices, and research (including personal accounts) to help you find resources relevant to your needs


Recovery: Hope Changes Everything
A video with first-hand descriptions of recovery by people with lived and living experience of mental health problems and illnesses, practitioners, peer-support workers, service providers, policy makers, educators, advocates, and researchers

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Food for Thought: A Youth Perspective on Recovery-Oriented Practice
A video that takes a light-hearted approach to explaining the key concepts of recovery-oriented practice for youth, including the core principles of mental health and addiction services


Need more information? Use the discussion guide to help direct your own self-reflection or facilitate conversations with others.