Skip to main content


The National Consensus Statement defines recovery as "Mental health recovery is a journey of healing and transformation enabling a person with a mental health problem to live a meaningful life in a community of his or her choice while striving to achieve his or her full potential." Recovery is about living well. It is courageous work that takes consistent effort, but its rewards are endlessly fulfilling.

Do People Recover?

Absolutely. People with diagnoses get well and stay well. Even for 'major' diagnoses like schizophrenia, scientific studies demonstrate that a majority of individuals recover over time. While some individuals become free of psychiatric concerns altogether, others learn new ways of living in and adjusting to the world.

How Do I Recover?

Millions of people with psychiatric diagnoses are living full and satisfying lives. There is no one-size-fits-all path to recovery. What works for one person may not work for another. Recovery depends on your unique needs, desires, and ideas about life and wellness.

Recovery in Vermont

Through the Vermont Recovery Education Project, the Department of Mental Health has promoted the dissemination of the principles and skills of recovery for adults with severe and persistent mental illness for more than a decade. Two primary models of Recovery Education are available in Vermont:

Recovery Education as taught by Vermont Psychiatric Survivors (VPS), with emphasis on consumer empowerment, Wellness Recovery Action Plans (WRAP), and other principles and tools working out originally by Vermonter Mary Ellen Copeland. Recovery Education is taught in many of the Designated Agencies and at the Vermont State Hospital.

Illness Management and Recovery (IMR), which was developed by the New Hampshire based Dartmouth Psychiatric Research Center and has identified by SAMHSA (Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration). IMR is available in several of the Designated Agencies.