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The Royal College of Psychiatrists Improving the lives of people with mental illness

Rehabilitation and social psychiatry

Background to rehabilitation and social psychiatry

Rehabilitation psychiatry is variously termed and often now uses the term “recovery” in order to emphasise the need to focus on quality of life issues rather than simply symptomatic relief. There is therefore a need to work with people’s families and social circles to promote integration or reintegration into the local community. More than ever people’s individual values and beliefs must be respected and integrated into treatment plans.

Most commonly, service users in this area have had a significant period of contact with mental health services and generally will have psychotic illnesses which have not been easily treated. The practitioner is therefore required to take a broad view of an individual’s wellbeing, work closely with other organisations and look to build improvement in life rather than expect quick, simple results.

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Page updated on 8 December 2010

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