Crisis Support

National Suicide Prevention Lifeline


Crisis Text Line

Text NAMI to 741-741 to connect with a trained crisis counselor to receive free, 24/7 crisis support via text message.

NAMI HelpLine

Call 1-800-950-NAMI (6264) M–F, 7 a.m.–3 p.m. PT for free mental health info, referrals and support.

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noun, plural -er·ies.

1. an act of recovering.
2. the regaining of or possibility of regaining something lost or taken away.
3. restoration or return to health from sickness.
4. restoration or return to any former and better state or condition.
5. time required for recovering.


Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration
Center for Mental Health Services


Recovery is cited, within Transforming Mental Health Care in America, Federal Action Agenda: First Steps, as the “single most important goal” for the mental health service delivery system.

To clearly define recovery, the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration within the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services and the Interagency Committee on Disability Research in partnership with six other Federal agencies convened the National Consensus Conference on Mental Health Recovery and Mental Health Systems Transformation on December 16-17, 2004.

Over 110 expert panelists participated, including mental health consumers, family members, providers, advocates, researchers, academicians, managed care representatives, accreditation organization representatives, State and local public officials, and others. A series of technical papers and reports were commissioned that examined topics such as recovery across the lifespan, definitions of recovery, recovery in cultural contexts, the intersection of mental health and addictions recovery, and the application of recovery at individual, family, community, provider, organizational, and systems levels. The following consensus statement was derived from expert panelist deliberations on the findings.

Mental health recovery is a journey of healing and transformation enabling a person with a mental health problem to live a meaningful life in a community of his or her choice while striving to achieve his or her full potential.

The 10 Fundamental Components of Recovery

Self-Direction: Consumers lead, control, exercise choice over and determine their own path of recovery by optimizing autonomy, independence, and control of resources to achieve a self-determined life. By definition, the recovery process must be self-directed by the individual, who defines his or her own life goals and designs a unique path towards those goals.

Individualized and Person-Centered: There are multiple pathways to recovery based on an individual’s unique strengths and resiliencies as well as his or her needs, preferences, experiences (including past trauma), and cultural background in all of its diverse representations. Individuals also identify recovery as being an ongoing journey and an end result as well as an overall paradigm for achieving wellness and optimal mental health.

Empowerment: Consumers have the authority to choose from a range of options and to participate in all decisions—including the allocation of resources—that will affect their lives, and are educated and supported in so doing. They have the ability to join with other consumers to collectively and effectively speak for themselves about their needs, wants, desires, and aspirations. Through empowerment, an individual gains control of his or her own destiny and influences the organizational and societal structures in his or her life.

Holistic: Recovery encompasses an individual’s whole life, including mind, body, spirit, and community. Recovery embraces all aspects of life, including housing, employment, education, mental health and healthcare treatment and services, complementary and naturalistic services, addictions treatment, spirituality, creativity, social networks, community participation, and family supports as determined by the person. Families, providers, organizations, systems, communities, and society play crucial roles in creating and maintaining meaningful opportunities for consumer access to these supports.

Non-Linear: Recovery is not a step-by-step process but one based on continual growth, occasional setbacks, and learning from experience. Recovery begins with an initial stage of awareness in which a person recognizes that positive change is possible. This awareness enables the consumer to move on to fully engage in the work of recovery.

Strengths-Based: Recovery focuses on valuing and building on the multiple capacities, resiliencies, talents, coping abilities, and inherent worth of individuals. By building on these strengths, consumers leave stymied life roles behind and engage in new life roles (e.g., partner, caregiver, friend, student, employee). The process of recovery moves forward through interaction with others in supportive, trust-based relationships.

Peer Support: Mutual support—including the sharing of experiential knowledge and skills and social learning—plays an invaluable role in recovery. Consumers encourage and engage other consumers in recovery and provide each other with a sense of belonging, supportive relationships, valued roles, and community.

Respect: Community, systems, and societal acceptance and appreciation of consumers —including protecting their rights and eliminating discrimination and stigma—are crucial in achieving recovery. Self-acceptance and regaining belief in one’s self are particularly vital. Respect ensures the inclusion and full participation of consumers in all aspects of their lives.

Responsibility: Consumers have a personal responsibility for their own self-care and journeys of recovery. Taking steps towards their goals may require great courage. Consumers must strive to understand and give meaning to their experiences and identify coping strategies and healing processes to promote their own wellness.

Hope: Recovery provides the essential and motivating message of a better future— that people can and do overcome the barriers and obstacles that confront them. Hope is internalized; but can be fostered by peers, families, friends, providers, and others. Hope is the catalyst of the recovery process. Mental health recovery not only benefits individuals with mental health disabilities by focusing on their abilities to live, work, learn, and fully participate in our society, but also enriches the texture of American community life. America reaps the benefits of the contributions individuals with mental disabilities can make, ultimately becoming a stronger and healthier Nation.

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National Mental Health Information Center
1-800-789-2647, 1-866-889-2647 (TDD)


From U.S. Mental Health Commission

President George W. Bush established the President’s New Freedom Commission on Mental Health in April 2002 as part of his commitment to eliminate inequality for Americans with disabilities.  The President directed the Commission to identify policies that could be implemented by Federal, State and local governments to maximize the utility of existing resources, improve coordination of treatments and services, and promote successful community integration for adults with a serious mental illness and children with a serious emotional disturbance.

From June 2002 to April 2003, the 22 Commissioners met monthly to analyze the public and private mental health systems, visit innovative model programs across the country and hear testimony from the systems’ many stakeholders, including dozens of consumers of mental health care, families, advocates, public and private providers, and administrators and mental health researchers. The Commission received feedback, comments, and suggestions from nearly 2,500 people from all 50 states via personal testimony, letters, emails and a comment section on this website.  In addition to public comment, the Commission consulted with nationally recognized professionals with expertise in diverse areas of mental health policy.  The Commission established 15 subcommittees to examine specific aspects of mental health services and offer recommendations for improvement.

The Commission will submit the final report to the President in May 2003, and the White House will, in turn, release the report soon thereafter.  Once released, you will be able to access the final report on the “Reports” page of this website. The Commission wishes to thank all those who participated in this critical and historic effort.  The final report to the President offers a vision of hope and recovery for people with a serious mental illness and their families.

Click here to download Report.


From Psychiatric Services Journal By Larry Davidson, Ph.D., Maria O’Connell, Ph.D., Janis Tondora, Psy.D., Thomas Styron, Ph.D., and Karen Kangas, Ed.D.  May 2006

The notion of “recovery” has recently taken center stage in guiding mental health policy and practice. However, it is not yet clear what the term means and what is to be entailed in transforming the nation’s mental health system to promote it. The authors discuss the various meanings of recovery as applied to mental illness and list the top ten concerns encountered in efforts to articulate and implement recovery-oriented care. These concerns include the following: recovery is old news, recovery-oriented care adds to the burden of already stretched providers, recovery involves cure, recovery happens to very few people, recovery represents an irresponsible fad, recovery happens only after and as a result of active treatment, recovery-oriented care is implemented only through the addition of new resources, recovery-oriented care is neither reimbursable nor evidence-based, recovery-oriented care devalues the role of professional intervention, and recovery-oriented care increases providers’ exposure to risk and liability. These concerns are addressed through discussion of the two overarching challenges that they pose, namely the issues of resources and risk.

Click here to Download Full Article.



Limelight Mental Health is about awareness, well-being and fundraising for non-profit mental health organizations.

Limelight Mental Health seeks to promote brain or mental health by:

  1. Advocating for mental health issues with LIME GREEN (awareness ribbon and Limelight theme) during May Mental Health Month and year-round through promotions, event, and media.
  2. Normalizing annual and periodic mental health check ups as part of overall wellness and
  3. Fundraising for or in conjunction with organizations that educate the public about the brain, provide mental health services, reduce stigma and research treatments and causes of mental health stressors.

For more information please visit Limelight’s website: