The recovery approach within mental health services has in recent years been influential in promoting more active participation from service users concerning their treatment and progress, within a move towards models of interventions based on social models and ideas of service user empowerment. Although mental health recovery models are often heralded as ideological goals, comparatively little has been documented about the means of achieving these. This article sets out the nature and content of the Whole Life Programme, used within the Hertfordshire NHS Partnership Foundation Trust, and the results of qualitative research into the programme that set out to analyse the impact of its delivery from the perspectives of service users. The research examined the experiences and views of participants receiving treatment several months after the completion of the programme, and also of those who withdrew prematurely, in order to learn from these experiences, adding to our understanding of how one recovery based approach, the Whole Life Manual, can be applied in practice.
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