Mental health network

Making Recovery a Reality in Forensic Settings


11 / 09 / 2014

This briefing discusses why people in forensic (or secure) mental health services should be offered support that helps them in their personal recovery journeys. 

Making Recovery a Reality in Forensic Settings, produced as part of the Implementing Recovery through Organisational Change (ImROC) programme, finds that recovery for people in forensic services is in most ways the same as for those using other mental health services. 

Hope for the future, control over your life and illness, and opportunity for a life beyond illness are key for both. But people with offending histories also have to come to terms with what they have done. Forensic services can help them to recover by supporting them to ‘come to terms with themselves’.

The briefing paper examines how recovery principles and practices can be applied in forensic mental health services. It looks at the importance of relationships between professionals and service users and the potential of peer support and Recovery Colleges to improve people’s experiences of forensic care and inspire greater hope for the future. 

It explores how risk and safety can be managed positively as part of a recovery journey. And it examines ways of creating opportunities for meaningful occupation and employment for people in forensic services.

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