For many people, it can take a significant amount of time to figure out how to manage the mental health recovery process. There are good times and difficult times along the way. This is to be expected as it has happened to me.
Many people who live with mental health conditions need to manage symptoms throughout their lives. Some will have mild symptoms; others will have more severe ones. Many will be able to live full, meaningful lives that may include living independently; having stable relationships with friends, family, and significant others; and working full- or part-time.
A recovery plan can be a guide to help a person achieve personal goals. It can help steer decisions during the more challenging aspects of recovery, such as having trouble finding a job, knowing when to talk with the doctor about medication, or recognizing new symptoms or triggers of a relapse.
When creating a personal recovery plan, it becomes unique to that person. It reflects special situations, relationships, personal goals, and unique thoughts and feelings. The more thought that goes into it, the more helpful it may be in the long run.
Elements of a mental health recovery plan include:
- Your goals (life, health, treatment, medication and overall recovery)
- Daily activities you need to do to stay well/healthy
- Words that describe you when you are feeling well/healthy
- Relapse triggers (events or experiences that contributed to a past setback)
- Early warning signs that things are not going well
- Crisis plan for difficult times