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The study is on the mental health and the mental illness. These days mental health has become a prime concern among people. In this study concept of mental health and illness will be represented on the experience of Australian famous writer Sandy Jeffs. This study will evaluate the methods of recovering mental health and illness, and also will bring out the ideas of Sandy Jess regarding this context. This study discussion will be done on the Guidelines on recovery mental health for practitioners and providers in according to the national framework. In this study, arguments will be done on how recovery-oriented practice can be implemented by mental health professionals.


Mental illness is a health condition where changes in thinking, behavior and emotion are observed in a person who in result makes a person unable to cope up with daily life routine and the demands.

There are more than 200 types of mental illness some of them which are common in normal people are depression, schizophrenia, bipolar disorder, anxiety disorder, which controls the personal behavior, mood, habits of a person. Depending on the ages the symptoms of mental illness might vary. As mentioned by Elliott et al. (2012), the general symptoms in the  young adults and the adolescents are confused thinking, prolonged depression, use of substances like a habit, suicidal thoughts, excessive fear, excessive anxiety, delusions, inability to cope up with daily problems, social withdrawal, feelings of extra high or low and hallucinations. As mentioned by Rogers and Pilgrim (2014), in the older children or the pre-adolescents the common symptoms are use of substances, frequent outburst in anger, intense fear, excessive sleep, excessive eating, inability to manage responsibilities in school or at home, truancy, inability to cope up with daily activity, defiance of authority, theft and (vandalismpsychiatry.org, 2018), in the younger people the symptoms are changes in school performance, hyperactivity, changes in sleep, anxiety, poor grades, and frequent temper tantrums. Several reasons might result in mental illness are given in figure 1.

Sandy Jeffs on her poem ‘Medicated’ described his experience of her mental health (problemscentreformedicalhumanities.org, 2018). According to her views she had problems with sleeping, In the poem, ‘McMadness’ Sandy Jeffs talked about her delusions. She also included that she didn't have control over her emotions and needs as she spends all her savings by buying three Ferrari and Rolls car. She expressed her madness as how she wanted to harm herself. As mentioned by Jeffs and Staines (1993), suicidal thoughts are also a type of madness. She also included as she got addicted to drugs and was gaining weight. She also shared her experience in ‘McMadness' on a need of deep emotional fulfillment. She also included the stress and the worry due to staying in a relationship and loving and caring someone so much. In the poem ‘Madwoman' she included that she used to cut her hand in stress which left the scar on her hand which is a symptom of mental illness. This can state as a sign of depression. She included she got addicted to alcohol, cigarettes, even there were several times she begged to buy cigarettes. She also exposed her fears in her poems.

There are several concepts of the process of recovering mental illness. Some practices can help people to get rid off from the mental illness such as, partnership and communication, dignity and respect, the uniqueness of individual, attitude and rights and evaluating recovery. As mentioned by Caplan (2013), every patient has unique symptoms of mental health. In order to take care of the mental patients, the uniqueness should be given value. Partnership and the communication act as the main role in order to take care of a person diagnosed with severe mental health issues. A partner can take care of the reasons for stress and the reasons for anxiety and other problems. A good communication between partners can help the one who is suffering from mental health issues to get rid off of the problem and cope up with the daily life. Attitude and the rights of an individual should be given value in order to take care of the patients as an ego can become the barrier to the patients’ health. In the practice evaluation of the recovery helps to understand the ongoing practice of to how effective it is.

In the Poems, Sandy Jeffs included as she tried many medicines to get rid off from the mental health issues but discovered that those were not leaving any positive effect on her health condition but she was gaining weight. She included she started writing poems where she could share her views and that helped her to take control of her problems.

Recovery in mental illness means making a mentally challenged individual confident enough to be a part of the society without any fear.

The recovery principles as a national framework in Australia are adopted from the NHS foundation UK. The different guides for the practitioners are mentioned below.

The treatment therapy is expected to be made based on each individual's condition. So that the particular person can feel that he/she is the only attention to the care. This would help change the service user's life in the context of meaningful life, positivity and a focused goal to achieve. As stated by Drake and Whitley (2014), the practitioners are expected to consider this as a curable sign for that particular patient. Here the example of Sandy Jeffs has been given who is a motivational figure to the other mental ill health suffers. She became a community educator and poet and receives the honour of bestselling author at the age of 35(dvrcv.org.au, 2018). Her poems are based on the violence which she experienced in her family. This is an evidence of the requirement of a national framework for not only the general practitioners but also for the family members of the mentally ill persons. The associated help of both can give a purposeful life and social involvement to the mentally ill persons (health.gov.au, 2018).   

 The maintenance of attitude and legal right of the mentally ill person is expected to be taken care by the GPs along with their family members. As stated by Williams et al. (2012), a nonverbal communication between the GP and the service users can help to find out exactly what type of support and care is required for an individual. The GPs also can take the responsibility to provide the legal and human rights, citizenships and protection from social violence to keep the ill person motivated with a positive energy of life.

The national framework can involve another principle of maintaining the dignity and respect towards the ill person by every type of care providers in the care home. As stated by Bird et al. (2012), the major role plays by the GPs to help every individual to overcome the discrimination and stigma of the society with a centralized individual care. 

The implementation of the effective recovery practices can make a positive change not only among the mentally challenged person, also their family members and most importantly the society. The human rights are equal for everybody. Hence the recovery practice of attitude and rights has to be implemented as a mandatory legislation for all including the GPs, and other care providers and every human being who is part of this society. As mentioned by Williams et al. (2014), along with that maintenance of the dignity and respect to the mentally challenged persons while participating in the social gatherings has to be essential. This would help to create a positive attitude towards life for the mentally challenged persons. So improvisation in rules and regulations for the mentally challenged person is expected to be done to keep them motivated towards life. Otherwise, the society will degrade the ill person's existence also they can be a victim of physical and mental violence by the society, family members and also in care homes which had been shown in the case of Sandy Jeff's case.  A strong mind along with the self-confidence and self-determination can help them to bring back into the mainstream of life. Sandy Jeff is a successful example of that. Active participation of the GPs can keep the individual person motivated towards life. It also helps them to overcome the discrimination related mental stress.

The attention to every individual ill person by each service providers can make them feel valuable and an important part of the society. This would help to achieve something in life. As suggested by Aston and Coffey (2012), if proper care would not be given to them then the service users may become more hopeless towards life and negative thinking can occur in mind. Hence a 1:1 ratio in each care home for the patient care can be proven a successful implementation of the recovery principle.


The study was based on the different concept of mental illness along with a discussion on different recovery processes. The identification of individual’s problem is an important key factor to plan the recovery process. Here a case of Sandy Jeffs is mentioned which shows a successful implementation of the recovery practices of mental illness related problem. The guiding principle for the GPs is mentioned in the perspective of the present case example. The study would conclude with an argument based on the importance of adopting the different recovery principles in the context of medical health professionals and the positive impact of it among the family members of the suffering persons and the society.


arundellodge.org (2018), People Can Recover from Mental Illness Viewed: 06/01/2018




Aston, V. and Coffey, M., 2012. Recovery: what mental health nurses and service users say about the concept of recovery. Journal of Psychiatric and Mental Health Nursing19(3), pp.257-263.

Bird, V., Leamy, M., Tew, J., Le Boutillier, C., Williams, J. and Slade, M., 2014. Fit for purpose? Validation of a conceptual framework for personal recovery with current mental health consumers. Australian & New Zealand Journal of Psychiatry48(7), pp.644-653.

Caplan, G. (Ed.). (2013). An approach to community mental health (Vol. 3). UK: Routledge.

centreformedicalhumanities.org (2018), Centre for Medical Humanities, Viewed: 06/01/2018 http://centreformedicalhumanities.org/medicated-and-mcmadness

Drake, R. E., & Whitley, R. (2014). Recovery and severe mental illness: description and analysis. The Canadian Journal of Psychiatry59(5), 236-242. Viewed: 06/01/2018

dvrcv.org.au (2018), Sandy Jeff’s story Viewed: 06/01/2018                    www.dvrcv.org.au/stories/true-stories/stories-women-disabilities/sandy-jeffs-story

Elliott, D.S., Huizinga, D. and Menard, S., 2012. Multiple problem youth: Delinquency, substance use, and mental health problems. Germany: Springer Science & Business Media.

health.gov.au (2018), The Department of Health Viewed: 06/01/2018




Jeffs, S. and Staines, D., 1993. Poems from the Madhouse. Victoria: Spinifex Press.

Jeffs, S., 2000. Blood Relations. Victoria: Spinifex Press.

mypositiveparenting.org (2018), Teen Mental Illness: Realizing The Facts, Viewed: 06/01/2018




psychiatry.org (2018), What Is Mental Illness?, Viewed: 06/01/2018 https://www.psychiatry.org/patients-families/what-is-mental-illness

Rogers, A. and Pilgrim, D., 2014. A sociology of mental health and illness. London: McGraw-Hill Education (UK).

Williams, J., Leamy, M., Bird, V., Harding, C., Larsen, J., Le Boutillier, C., Oades, L. and Slade, M., 2012. Measures of the recovery orientation of mental health services: systematic review. Social psychiatry and psychiatric epidemiology47(11), pp.1827-1835.



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