Understanding the whole person: Part One

People recovering from drug and alcohol addiction, mental illness and leaving behind a life of crime all share a need for a positive self-image as a key step in their recovery, according to a new report.  The report, which examines existing research in several different disciplines, identified that people facing complex needs and disadvantaged lives will see many common steps across their recovery journeys.

Understanding the whole person: Part One of a series of literature reviews on severe and multiple disadvantage is published by Revolving Doors Agency with Lankelly Chase.  Other key findings include:
• These journeys are difficult and relapse or setbacks are common. But many people can and do overcome deeply entrenched problems
• Finding meaningful opportunities and roles helps to build a positive self-image
• Supportive friends and family play a key role in sustaining these journeys, while discriminatory attitudes and labels can hold people back.

The paper also finds some important differences between the fields. One example is the way in which mental health literature identifies the ways institutions can damage people’s positive self-image.  The paper is part of an ambitious project aiming to break down academic boundaries and promote collaboration between researchers, leading to greater insight into the experiences of people facing multiple needs.