Recovering from Mental Illness

"Recovery is a process. It is a way of life. It is an attitude and a way of approaching the day’s challenges." -- Pat Deegan

Recovery is different for everyone. A person who has treatment for a physical illness might define their recovery as being well enough to return to work after surgery, or learning to live with cancer, or it might mean finding the right treatment for a chronic illness like asthma.

One in five Canadians live with a mental illness. If you are one of them, recovery means being able to enjoy life to the fullest. It means being active in your community, maybe going to school, working, and doing everyday tasks like shopping for groceries or paying a bill on your own.

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Capital Heath's Mental Health Program recognizes the duty of care it has to patients and their families.  

The Community Living Initiative, more commonly known as the Bungalows, is being built on the grounds of The Nova Scotia Hospital site. Recently, an Extensive Green Roof has been installed.

The first of its kind in Nova Scotia, the goal of the court is to treat Nova Scotians with mental disorders, who commit criminal offences, fairly and compassionately, and to help them improve their mental health to reduce the risk to public safety.

Capital Health's Mental Health Program is reviewing and reorganizing how it delivers services to people in hospital, and how it provides support in the community.

In the eighth and final part of her journal, Debi writes about her progress, her hope for the future, and what she accomplished in the program.

In part 7, near the end of week five in the program, Debi is excited by the future and all the possibilities before her.

In part 6, Debi experiences a real shift and has a very good week.

In part 5, and at the half-way mark of the six-week program, Debi shares her feelings about the program and whether she can meet her goals.

In part 4, and at the end of another week, Debi struggles with feeling that she doesn't deserve to be happy.

In part 3, as the first week ends, Debi shares her goals for the program and her expectations about the coming weeks.

In part 2 of her journal entries, Debi shares her feelings as she begins the program and realizes the challenges that lie ahead for her.

Debi Noye recently completed the Mental Health Day Treatment Program, an intensive, six-week, group therapy program for adults with mental health problems. She chronicled her experience in a series of journal entries. Here, she describes her feelings about finally getting into the program.

On April 18, 2011, The Department of Health and Wellness announced that Capital Health Mental Health Program and the Department of Psychiatry, Dalhousie University, have opened a Psychiatric Intensive Care Unit (PICU) at the East Coast Forensic Hospital.

Debi Noye developed an Acquired Brain Injury after a suicide attempt. Here, she shares how her life has changed and how she keeps putting "one foot in front of the other."


Debi Noye shares her experience with mental illness and how, finally, she got help.

Debi Noye shares her experience with peer support and how it helped her find a "spark of hope."


Anna Quon writes that for someone living with depression, it is important to be able to recognize when a low day is just that and not something more.

Psychotherapy is a way for mental health professionals to help individuals reduce or eliminate emotional problems. The key to psychotherapy is the special and trusting nature of the therapeutic relationship that develops over time.

Psychotherapy is a way for mental health professionals to help individuals reduce or eliminate emotional problems. It usually relies on communication betweenan individual and a therapist as the main method for change and growth. This involves working together to understand the difficulties, consider the options and work on solutions.

For many, managing mental illness requires discipline, self-reliance, perseverance and a tremendous amount of support.  Perhaps most important though is the realization that it is possible to manage mental illness. 

There are warning signs of relapse just as there are warning signs that a person has a mental illness.

Your recovery is based on you managing your illness. You do this with the support and help of your family and friends, your doctor and other people who become a part of your support circle.

Anna Quon shares how volunteering made a huge difference in her recovery and inspired her to begin writing.

Recovery is Deeply Personal

It is a unique way of changing your attitude, values, skills, goals, feelings and roles.

It is a way for you to find new meaning and purpose in your life as you grow beyond the effects of living with mental illness.

It is a way for you to live a satisfying and hopeful life even with the limitations caused by illness.