Recovering citizenship.

Name of the Journal: 
Israel Journal of Psychiatry and Related Sciences
Rowe, M., & Davidson, L.

Recovery as a process through which people reclaim their lives even while continuing to experience symptoms of mental illness has at times been misunderstood or misinterpreted,including being used as an excuse for cutting needed services and supports in the guise of allowing people to pursue their own personal “recovery journeys.” In delivering a message of hope to individuals and fostering initiatives to counter the debilitating impact of clinical pessimism,recovery literature has also,at times,paid less attention to the material,social,cultural,political and economic contexts in which people pursue recovery. The importance of these contexts are implied in a 1961 American Report on Mental Illness and Health that argued that people with mental illnesses should be able to live their lives “in the normal manner” in their home communities. We argue for a disability model that provides people with necessary supports and services to make individual recovery possible for persons with prolonged mental illnesses. Another model that has emerged over the past decade to counterbalance this overweening emphasis on the lone individual pursuing his or her recovery journey is citizenship. We discuss this concept and our research on it since the late 1990s. We then argue for “recovering citizenship” as a concept and metaphor to capture the individual recovery process within the context and goal of a life in the community that the citizenship framework supports.