Recovery from mental illness and mental health problems is relatively well-researched among adults, but evidence that focuses on the recovery experiences of young people and what characterizes it is scarce. With this in mind, this article aims to map out the existing research in order to identify prevailing knowledge about the recovery of young people between the ages of 12 and 25.
Drawing on scoping review methodology, this article is based on an analysis of 33 articles conducted in the USA, Australia, and Europe.
Our findings reveal that young people express both similar and divergent lines of reasoning about recovery compared with adults. Our findings also indicate that young people often fluctuate in the way they view recovery, and that they thus tend to be ambivalent about what recovery means. Parents usually highlight the importance of professionals facilitating recovery, while care staff problematize the organizational frameworks available as aggravating circumstances for implementing personal recovery. Young people, parents, and care staff consistently describe recovery as a way to, despite lingering problems, enable a satisfying life.
Through this review, we outline the need for a more distinct focus on agency and participation in young people’s recovery processes, at the same time as family involvement needs to be further investigated and operationalized.