The Scientific World Journal

Mental Health, Recovery, and the Community

Publishing date
07 Dec 2012
Submission deadline
28 Sep 2012

1Department of Orthopedagogics, Ghent University, 9000 Gent, Belgium

2Boonshoft School of Medicine, Wright State University, Dayton, OH 45435, USA

3Oxford Complex Needs Service, Oxford OX4 1XE, UK

4Faculty of Education, Health and Social Work, University College Ghent, 9000 Gent, Belgium

Mental Health, Recovery, and the Community


The prevalence of mental health problems is high and increasing. Most psychiatric disorders are characterized by a chronic and complex nature and recurring episodes of acute symptoms. For decades, the treatment of mental health problems has been situated in residential services. Criticism on the so-called total institutions has led to the downsizing of institutions in favor of community-based services. Still, the number of psychiatric beds remains high but varies considerably from country to country. Deinstitutionalization is enhanced by the current scarcity of economic and financial resources and the increasing emphasis on participation, empowerment, recovery, and quality of life.

In reaction against what is perceived to be an overly narrow traditional biomedical model, the recovery movement emphasizes the importance of a client-centred approach, based on clients' perceived needs and goals. Instead of rehabilitation, in which clients' role in regaining control over their lives is often neglected, recovery focuses on the question how individuals can have more active control over their lives (agency). Recovery has been defined as “a way of living a satisfying, hopeful, and contributing life, even with any limitations caused by illness.” It is characterised by a search for persons' strengths and capacities, satisfying and meaningful social roles, and mobilizing formal and informal support systems. Recovery has begun to have an influence in thinking more broadly about mental health and how social inclusion can be promoted. However, research on the concept of recovery and on evidence-based interventions to promote recovery remains scarce. Consequently, the objective of this special issue is to fill this gap.

We invite authors to contribute original research articles as well as review articles that have studied recovery and its correlates among various mental health populations. Potential topics include, but are not limited to:

  • Conceptualization of recovery
  • Sources of agency
  • Social determinants of mental health, recovery, and inclusion
  • Quality of life and mental health
  • Comorbid disorders (e.g., psychosis and substance use/disability) and recovery
  • The role of clients and professionals/services in recovery
  • Implementation and evaluation of (therapeutic) interventions

Before submission authors should carefully read over the journal's Author Guidelines, which are located at Prospective authors should submit an electronic copy of their complete manuscript through the journal Manuscript Tracking System at according to the following timetable:

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