Exploring the Concept of Recovery in Irish Mental Health Services: A Case Study of Perspectives within an Inter-Professional Team

Calvin Swords, Stan Houston

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The concept of recovery has been well documented in the Irish state’s policies on mental health. More widely, the notion has been contested and embroiled in a number of definitional debates. Given the formative nature of this unfolding discourse, this research explored the meaning of recovery from the perspectives of one inter-professional team delivering mental health services to vulnerable individuals within an Irish community setting. The researchers sought to analyse whether the disciplines of medicine, psychology, nursing and social work could work together purposively to promote the biopsychosocial approach to recovery-oriented practice. This vein of inquiry was salient as an array of literature suggested that the traditional biomedical model continued to undermine this approach. The research adopted a case study design and used semi-structured interviews to collect the data. The findings highlighted that the notion of recovery was shared broadly but also embraced diverse inflexions across the various disciplinary leanings. This plurality of meaning encouraged positive examples of working together and promoted an holistic understanding of the service user’s needs, with no specific discipline colonizing the professional or therapeutic agenda. These findings generate insights into how recovery can be better understood and progressed within Irish mental health policy and service development.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)31-46
JournalIrish Journal Of Applied Social Studies
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 19 Feb 2020


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