The Social Model of Recovery is a framework for understanding and promoting mental health recovery that emphasizes the importance of social, cultural, and environmental factors in the recovery process. “Peer support is integral to a variety of approaches to alcohol and drug problems” (Maximizing Social Model Principles in Residential Recovery Settings, Polcin et al., 2014) and this framework is an alternative to the traditional biomedical model of mental illness, which views mental health problems as primarily caused by individual brain abnormalities that can be treated with medication and other biomedical interventions.
The Benefits of the Social Model of Recovery
There are several key benefits to the Social Model of Recovery:
- It recognizes the complexity of mental health problems: Mental health issues are not just caused by individual brain abnormalities, but also by a range of social, cultural, and environmental factors. The Social Model of Recovery takes these factors into account, providing a more comprehensive understanding of mental health problems and recovery.
- It promotes a strengths-based approach: The Social Model of Recovery focuses on an individual’s strengths and abilities, rather than their deficits or disorders. This approach helps people to feel more empowered and capable of recovery, rather than feeling defined by their mental health problems.
- It values the role of community and social support: The Social Model of Recovery recognizes that recovery is not just about individual treatment, but also about the support and acceptance of one’s community. This can include support from family, friends, and peers with similar experiences, as well as community resources and services from Lantana. Other community resources include self-help 12-step programs, as well as community agencies, chartered to address employment, education, family counseling, and housing.
- It promotes hope and resilience: The Social Model of Recovery emphasizes that recovery is possible and encourages people to believe in their own ability to recover and thrive. This approach can help to build resilience and hope, which are key factors in mental health recovery.
- It is inclusive and person-centered: The Social Model of Recovery values the unique experiences and needs of each individual and promotes a personalized approach to recovery. This can include a range of interventions and supports that are tailored to the individual’s specific needs and goals.
Overall, the Social Model of Recovery offers a holistic and empowering approach to mental health recovery that values the individual’s strengths and abilities, as well as the importance of social, cultural, and environmental support.