Objectives: We aimed to further our understanding of the concept of recovery by analysing comments made in small group discussions that occurred on a planning Away Day held by a community mental health team along-side service users and carers, which had recovery as its theme. The purpose of this was to reshape the structure and workings of the team.
Method: Five small groups, of approximately 10 individuals each, comprised of service-users, carers, representatives from voluntary organisations and mental health professionals were asked to discuss three questions related to Recovery.
Results: The commentary reflected previous qualitative research on the philosophy of recovery. Issues that were raised included defining wellness as independent to illness, constructive risk taking, the importance of social factors, medication issues and the importance of self-management and optimism. The comments subsequently went on to shape community mental health team service delivery.
Conclusion: Discussion and reflection between mental health professionals, service users and carers can lead to a change in attitude and practice in a well-resourced, fully multi-disciplinary community mental health team, within which both the biological and non-biological aspects of mental illness are accepted. The result has been an introduction of service changes which have helped develop a team that is more accessible and increasingly collaborative.