Recovery and Inclusion How the Twain Should Meet


HU Utrecht University of Applied Sciences, Research Centre for Social Innovation, Utrecht, Netherlands


New models of person centred care, focusing on supporting personal recovery processes, are becoming more and more mainstream in current mental health care practices. However, there are still several gaps to overcome. The first is the gap between treatment and rehabilitation, or in other words, the gap between a clinical psychiatric view, focussing on symptomatology, and a social psychiatric view, focussing on social functioning. The second is the gap between mental health care in general, and the community. In many countries, most resources go to clinical services, and not to community services. Still, we learn from many different studies, that there is a direct relation between mental health and social functioning. A supportive social network, meaningful activities and valued social roles are important recovery factors. The third gap which will be addressed in this presentation is the gap between the experiences of service users and the practice of professionals. Service users often evaluate mental health services as not being adequately responsive to their needs. How to bridge these gaps? I will argue that we need an approach which might be called ‘inclusive psychiatry’. This is a comprehensive approach which starts with full understanding of the needs and perspective of a client/patient, which comprises of both therapeutic and social interventions, and which focuses on supporting someone with (re)integration and participation in the community. Persons who experience a psychiatric illness, always face internal and external disruptions. The challenge is to help to overcome all of these disruptions, which is the focus of ‘an inclusive psychiatry’.