Paper reviewing the literature within three separate disciplinary fields: mental health, criminology and substance misuse, part one of a series of literature reviews on severe and multiple disadvantage. The key themes emerging from the review are:
- Recovery in mental health focuses on recovery from institutions and the effects of being a mental health patient; whereas the other two domains focus more on processes of behaviour and motivational change taking place in a social context.
- Recovery in mental health also emphasises the need for socially inclusive policies and adaptations that allow people with an on-going severe mental illness to still participate on their own terms.
- Some of the variation in themes is partly due to the particular research methods used by each domain.
The review concludes that some of the themes distinctive to mental health recovery have potential relevance to all three domains. It also highlights the literature’s relevance to multiple needs policy and reiterates that there are many ways to support people on their complex but often successful journeys towards change.