Walking Recovery Talk : Mental Health Organizational Change

by Brenda Quenneville

Institution: Laurentian University
Year: 2014
Keywords: mental illness; mental health organizations
Record ID: 2025201
Full text PDF: https://zone.biblio.laurentian.ca/dspace/handle/10219/2180


The full experience of mental illness cannot be described in isolation from the context in which one lives, yet the internal physical manifestation of symptoms has been the focus of treatment in western cultures. The “recovery” paradigm is emerging as best-practice philosophy for mental health practice and represents a significant departure from existing standards thereby challenging mental health organizations to re-negotiate their relationship with the dominant bio-medical model. Despite the growing acceptance of recovery philosophy, literature exploring large-scale recovery-oriented organizational change is sparse. The purpose of this research was twofold; 1) to outline the steps taken by change agents within an organization embarking on recovery organizational change, and 2) to understand the experience, including successes and challenges associated with change. The qualitative data obtained from interviewing seventeen participants revealed the impact of organizational contextual factors, leadership and communication on recovery organizational change. Further, the data exposed the complexity of challenging preconceptions and practice when trying to adopt recovery approaches. The findings may guide other community based mental health organizations in their recovery journey.