Mental Health Matters is published once per month, thanks to a partnership between the Canadian Mental Health Association Champlain East and The Review. 

Recovery from a mental illness is expected; it is not necessarily an endpoint—it can be a process that you work on no matter where you are in (or out of) treatment. For some people, recovery may mean living without any symptoms of a mental illness at all. For others, recovery is about living well and working, volunteering, going to school, or maintaining social connections, despite symptoms that are still there or recur. In both cases, people in recovery have gained a sense of control and returned to meaningful activities and relationships in their daily life. Everyone has their own goals in recovery.

For example, recovery could mean:

  • Feeling hopeful about your future
  • Feeling confident that you can handle most things that come up
  • Reconnecting with your friends
  • Returning to work or school

For many people, recovery is bigger than treatment services. Hope, social connections, purpose, and stability are also key. Peer support, support groups, employment programs, housing supports, and income supports are some of the services that can help you achieve your goals during or after treatment. There are a lot of different things to think about when it comes to treatment, so we’ll look at common questions and considerations below.

Treatment choices are part of recovery

Which areas in your life are most affected? What are your goals?

Make a support plan

You might find that you need a mix of support tools. Things I can do when I am not feeling well:

  • Go for a walk
  • Call my sister and get her perspective
  • Take a day off work

Using your daily skills

A big part of recovery is learning how to use skills to reduce the impact problems have on your life.

Common skills include:  Building healthy activities like getting enough sleep, exercising regularly, and eating well—things that help you feel well; relaxation skills to help you feel calmer; problem-solving skills to help you identify and solve problems in your life; stress management skills to help you cope with stress or frustrations. Register for the next Living Life to the Full Program; this 8-week program provides skill building to support mental health and well-being

Do you need more help?

Contact a community organization like the Canadian Mental Health Association to learn more about support and resources in your area. Contact your local CMHA below.

The information provided is not a substitute for professional advice. If you need advice, please consult a qualified health care professional. For further information or if you want to access our services at CMHA, please call 1-800-493-8271 or visit our web site at