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Macmillan Higher Education Palgrave Higher Education

Recovery and Mental Health

A Critical Sociological Account

ISBN 9780230291386
Publication Date November 2013
Formats Paperback Ebook 
Publisher Palgrave

For most of us, the term 'recovery' in mental health implies hope and normality for those suffering from emotional distress. It is understandable why recovery has therefore become a significant goal for mental health services.

But what does recovery mean for those who are struggling to see it through? Is the emphasis on recovery always a positive thing? This book takes a critical sociological look at personal and public assumptions and understandings. In particular:

• It explores what the recovery movement signifies today, offering readers a critical, reflexive view of its scientific, policy and political consequences.

• It considers what recovery means from social, medical and patient perspectives, and the implications of these conflicting views,

• It reveals some of the risks and benefits for people with mental health problems encountering a system that expects them to recover.

Offering a comprehensive and thought-provoking overview of the concept of recovery from mental illness, this book is a must-have for students studying mental health across a range of subjects, including Sociology, Social Work, Psychology and Nursing.

David Pilgrim is Professor of Health and Social Policy at the University of Liverpool and Head of Adult and Forensic Psychology Services, Guild NHS Trust Preston. He is the author, with Anne Rogers, of Mental Health Policy in Britain 2e, Mental Health and Inequality and Experiencing Psychiatry (with Ron Lacey), all published by Palgrave Macmillan, as well as Key Concepts in Mental Health and Psychotherapy and Society.

Ann McCranie, formerly a community newspaper journalist covering changing mental health services in the US, is undertaking a PhD in Sociology at Indiana University. Her research work spans medical sociology, organisational research and social networks, but is focussed on the treatment of people with severe mental illness.

1. Introduction
2. Recovery in a Historical Context
3. The Various Meanings of Recovery
4. Recovery in Science and Service
5. Recovery, Risk Elimination and Fiscal Burden
6. Pros and Cons of Recovery Policy for Survivors
7. Conclusion; Consensus and Conflict regarding Recovery.


A sustained, thoughtful and very accessible guide to the recovery debate in mental health, which has the trademark clarity we have come to associate with David Pilgrim's work. It really is an essential read for everyone involved in the mental health field.' - Professor Nick Manning, Director of the Institute of Mental Health, University of Nottingham, UK
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