This background paper is a summary of the research and policy that underpins Australia’s national recovery-oriented mental health practice framework.

It provides an overview and definition of the concepts of recovery and lived experience. It outlines the policy context for a move to recovery-oriented approaches and cites relevant research. It briefly describes the practice domains and key capabilities necessary for the mental health workforce to function in accordance with recovery-oriented principles, and describes the relationship of the framework to Australia’s National standards for mental health services 2010.

This background paper is intended for all people employed in mental health and allied service sectors, who are interested in finding out more about the policy and research that underlies this new, national recovery-oriented approach to mental health practice and service delivery.

The framework is fully articulated in A national framework for recovery-oriented mental health services: Guide for practitioners and providers available on the Department of Health and Ageing website at