Severe mental health conditions (SMHCs) significantly contribute to the global disease burden. In low-and-middle-income countries (LMICs) like South Africa, the long-term impact of SMHCs on individuals and their families is serious. However, mental health services focus on clinical recovery, with little attention given to the personal recovery needs of mental health service users (MHSUs) and their caregivers. The CHIME framework outlines five domains characterising personal recovery: connectedness, hope and optimism about the future, identity, meaning in life, and empowerment. This qualitative, descriptive study sought insights from male MHSUs and their caregivers on their perspectives of personal recovery from SMHCs. Four male MHSUs and three of their caregivers were purposively selected from Cape Flats communities in the Western Cape. Data were collected using visual participatory methods, including photovoice, life graphs, community maps, and photo-elicitation interviews with MHSUs. In addition, semi-structured interviews were held with caregivers. Data were thematically analysed, and two main themes emerged: Finding meaningful participation and affirming agency. These themes describe how diverse contextual, socioeconomic, political, demographic, cultural, and spiritual factors help and hinder personal recovery. MHSUs and their caregivers sought support from mental health non-profit organisations (MH-NPOs) because of stigmatising attitudes from their communities. MH-NPOs provided MHSUs with long-term relational support and opportunities to build their capacities which helped them access living, learning, working and socialising opportunities. Understanding the diverse needs of MHSUs and including MH-NPOs in scaling up community-based mental health services in LMICs will enable more accessible services that support personal recovery.