REM Project (European Recovery Model)



There is no single definition of the concept of recovery for people with mental health problems. It focusses on building the resilience of people with mental health problems and helps them to stay in control of their lives despite having a serious mental illness. Recovery provides a holistic view of an individual and focusses on the person, not just their symptoms. It is seen as a journey, not a destination and to achieve it, a person with mental health problems requires the support of friends, family and professionals, using new and innovative approaches. It encourages people to move forward in their lives, developing goals and relationships which give their lives meaning. People may not have full control over their symptoms, but they can have full control over their lives.

Research reported in the UK has found that key aspects of recovery include:

  • Good relationships
  • Financial security
  • Satisfying work
  • Personal growth
  • The right living environment
  • Developing one’s own cultural and spiritual perspectives
  • Developing resilience to adversity or stress in the future

The key role for services is to support people in regaining their places in the communities where they live and take part in mainstream activities along with everyone else. There is a growing body of evidence which demonstrates that taking part in, social, educational, training, volunteering and employment opportunities can support the process of recovery.

Photo: Esko Hänninen, Author of several works (Book, papers, Projects) on the concept of Recovery, in a meeting with the monitors of the Club House of Helsinki