About the Recovery Library

The Framework

In the paradigm of mental health, the concept of recovery is understood to refer to a unique personal experience, process or journey that is defined and led by each person in relation to their wellbeing. While recovery is owned by and unique to each individual, mental health services have a role in creating an environment that supports, and does not interfere with, people's recovery efforts.

To this end, the Framework for recovery-oriented practice (which is a policy of the Department of Health and Human Services, Victoria, Australia) explicitly identifies the principles, capabilities, practices and leadership that should underpin the work of the specialist mental health workforce. As such, the framework is intended to provide broad guidance to both individual practitioners and service leaders, spanning different practice settings and age ranges throughout the Victorian specialist mental health service system, specifically clinical and community-managed services. It is intended to complement existing professional standards and competency frameworks.

The Framework was developed through a collaborative process that engaged people working in a diverse range of services, people using services and support people. It was published in 2011.

The resources

The Victorian Department of Health and Human Services subsequently contracted the Centre for Psychiatric Nursing of the University of Melbourne to develop an online repository of resources to support Victorian mental health services to actively engage with the Framework, to share high-quality resources and to support a service culture of ongoing practice development around recovery values. The resulting product is the Recovery Library.

A diverse range of resources was gathered from clinical and community-managed services that were identified as innovators in relation to recovery-oriented practice. The CPN visited these services and engaged in an iterative and collaborative process of identifying resources that the services routinely used and regarded highly, and which aligned with a set of criteria and values determined by the coproduced project team. These criteria included: the presence of consumer involvement in the selection, adoption or use of the resource, strong themes of self-determination, recognition of a social and familial context, use of strengths-based language and a perspective beyond a biomedical model.

The resources presented in this Recovery Library are mapped against the nine domains of the Framework for recovery-oriented practice. An additional domain pertaining to Growing Consumer Leadership was also developed as part of the formation of the Recovery Library, as this was a gap identified in the process of gathering and collating resources.

The resources are complemented by relevant links and multimedia resources, primarily filmed excerpts of thoughts and reflections of some of Victoria's leading innovative thinkers and change agents in relation to recovery-oriented practice in mental health.

Victorian mental health professionals are invited to embrace, utilise and further develop this Recovery Library in an effort to continually improve the quality of people's experiences of using mental health services.

This Recovery Library is intended to be a living and dynamic resource. If you have resources you would like considered for inclusion on this website, please forward them to: cpn-info@unimelb.edu.au . The resources will be reviewed against our Recovery Library criteria and uploaded quarterly. 

A note about language

Language and terminology matter in mental health. A plurality of language preferences exist that may be informed by political and personal and considerations. There are a number of terms employed throughout international mental health policy, legislation and literature to refer to people accessing mental health services, such as consumers, clients, service users and patients.

In the Framework for recovery-oriented practice, the terms 'person', 'individual', 'people with lived experience' and 'people accessing mental health services' are generally used to model humanistic language in line with a recovery approach. Elsewhere and in the domain "Growing Consumer Leadership", the term 'consumer' is chosen to denote language originally chosen by the consumer movement. Similarly, because many people do not identify with the term 'carer' and the kind of relationship this term denotes, the Framework uses terms such as 'support people', 'support networks' and 'significant others', to recognise the plurality of relationships of importance to people.