If you are in distress, you can call or text 988 at any time. If it is an emergency, call 9-1-1 or go to your local emergency department.

HomeMedia Centre › June 9, 2015 – MHCC launches the Guidelines for Recovery Oriented Practice

June 9, 2015 – MHCC launches the Guidelines for Recovery Oriented Practice

Winnipeg, MB – Today the Mental Health Commission of Canada (MHCC) took another significant step towards improving the mental health of Canadians with the launch of the Guidelines for Recovery-Oriented Practice. Through the collaboration and leadership of mental health advocates across the country, these Guidelines provide the first comprehensive Canadian reference document for understanding recovery and promoting recovery principles.

 “Recovery means that a person is able to live a satisfying, hopeful and meaningful life, even when there are ongoing limitations caused by mental health issues,” said Louise Bradley, President and CEO of the Mental Health Commission of Canada; adding that, “recovery is an important concept in mental health, but it is not always well understood, we hope that these guidelines will increase understanding and ease the path to recovery.”

The publication of the Guidelines is the final component of the MHCC’s three step Recovery Initiative providing a useful tool for a wide range of people including mental health professionals, policy and decision makers, and people accessing mental health services.

 “Our government is pleased to work with the Mental Health Commission of Canada to promote these new national Guidelines that will help build more holistic and person-centred mental health systems across Canada,” said Manitoba Healthy Living and Seniors Minister, Deanne Crothers. “Along with our community and healthcare partners, we will use these guidelines to help support Manitobans in their recovery, to give them a stronger voice, and to continue fostering a culture of hope, and I want to thank the Commission for their work.”

The Guidelines also represent another significant step towards the implementation of key recommendations contained in Changing Directions, Changing Lives: The Mental Health Strategy for Canada. The Strategy calls for the mental health system to “shift policies and practices toward recovery and well-being for people of all ages living with mental health problems and illnesses, and their families.”

Additional information of the Recovery Initiative may be found online at: http://http://www.mentalhealthcommission.ca/English/initiatives/11869/guidelines-for-recovery-oriented-practice


Guided by Changing Directions, Changing Lives: The Mental Health Strategy for Canada, the Mental Health Commission of Canada (MHCC) is a catalyst for improving the mental health system and changing the attitudes and behaviours of Canadians around mental health – at home, work, and school, as well as with the media and healthcare providers – from coast to coast to coast. Through its unique mandate from Health Canada, the Commission is Canada’s coordinating agent, bringing together the best and most influential minds in the mental health community. The MHCC is collaborating with hundreds of partners towards a mental health system that is inclusive, adaptable, and supports Canadians living with mental health problems and mental illnesses in their recovery journey. Together we accelerate change needed to transform Canada’s mental health system and the wellbeing of all.
www.mentalhealthcommission.ca | strategy.mentalhealthcommission.ca

Media Contact:
Patti Robson, Director of Marketing and Communications
Mental Health Commission of Canada
Office: 613.683.3742
Mobile: 613.282.1573


Amongst the recommendations of Changing Directions, Changing Lives: The Mental Health Strategy for Canada, published by the Mental Health Commission of Canada (MHCC) in 2012, was the call for the mental health system in Canada to: “shift policies and practices toward the recovery and well-being for people of all ages living with mental health problems and illnesses, and their families.” 

Accordingly, the MHCC embarked on process to answer that call entitled “the Recovery Initiative.”  The Recovery Initiative is a three-part process, which includes:

  1. The development and publishing of a Recovery Declaration which makes a commitment to recovery and encourages dialogue. Signed by over 550 corporations, community organizations, government agencies, non-governmental organizations and individuals, the Declaration and signatory list is available online at http://www.mentalhealthcommission.ca/English/document/25671/recovery-declaration-brochure;
  2. The assembly of a Recovery Inventory, an online, searchable repository of recovery-oriented resources. These resources include: evaluation tools, presentations, legal frameworks and guidelines, and personal stories. They cover issues such as: advocacy, diversity, mental health and well-being, peer-led support, and stigma and discrimination. The Inventory may be accessed online at: http://www.mentalhealthcommission.ca/English/inventory; and,
  3. The development of Recovery Guidelines, (released on June 9, 2015) for use by those involved in recovery practice and to serve as an additional online resource, available at http://www.mentalhealthcommission.ca/English/initiatives/RecoveryGuidelines.

The Guidelines have been reviewed by: a number of individual practitioners and groups whose primary focus is recovery; people living with mental health problems or illnesses and their families; and national stakeholder groups. Following this consultation there is consensus that these Guidelines:

  • provide a conceptual framework to help transform culture and practice;
  • identify principles, values, knowledge, skills and behaviour that underlie recovery-oriented services and supports;
  • assist in implementing a recovery-orientation across the country at a policy, program, and practice level;
  • provide a benchmark against which to measure service alignment with evidence-informed, recovery-oriented practices; and,
  • continue the dialogue towards improvements in this practice area.

The Guidelines were published on June 9, 2015 for use by:

  • mental health professionals in a broad range of settings;
  • staff and volunteers, who have contact with people accessing mental health and support services, their families and supporters;
  • policy and decision makers;
  • professionals in other service systems or sectors that contribute to mental health well-being; and,
  • people accessing mental health services.

They provide a picture of what a recovery-oriented system looks like and are designed to help build a holistic, person-centred and person-di­rected system; one that is grounded in best and leading practices and treats all people with dignity and respect.

The Guidelines help to strengthen the foundation for change as they draw on the best international practice as well as on the knowledge and experience of people from coast to coast to coast in Canada. They provide support and encouragement for the many excellent recovery-oriented initiatives already underway, as well as inspiration for new ways of thinking and doing. They provide a reference point for everyone who is part of, or who engages with, the mental health system, as well as all those who are working in areas that have an impact on mental health and well-being.

Additional information on the Recovery Initiative, including the documents and searchable inventory referred to above, may be found online at: http://www.mentalhealthcommission.ca/English/issues/recovery


Contact Us
For general inquiries, please contact:

350 Albert Street, Suite 1210

Ottawa ON K1R 1A4

Tel: 613.683.3755

Fax: 613.798.2989

Email: mhccinfo@mentalhealthcommission.ca

For media inquiries, please contact:

Tel: 613.683.3748

Email: media@mentalhealthcommission.ca

The Mental Health Commission of Canada is a catalyst for change, an organization designed to recommend improvements to the mental health system on a national level. We are not directly involved in individual cases of advocacy, outreach, service delivery or local supports.