‘Recovery’: Does it fit for adolescent mental health?




David Ward

Journal of Child & Adolescent Mental Health

Volume 26, Issue 1, 2014

03 Apr 2014






The notion of ‘recovery’ in mental health has a long and diverse history in terms of definition, treatment processes and outcomes. Particularly with regard to definition, there has been much debate in the literature. The aim of this paper is to extend the discussion by exploring how the concept is used for two developmentally divergent populations—adults and adolescents. I argued that it is indeed appropriate and valid to use ‘recovery’ in the treatment process for adolescents. However, while adults share various facets of the recovery process with their adolescent counterparts, there are also significant differences such as physiological change, the impact of peers, identity development and the role of family. These crucial differences must guide any clinical services for the adolescent population.