Recovery from what to where: a case study of Chinese mental health service users in the UK

Project: Research

Project Details


Mental health has long been perceived as a taboo subject in the UK, so much so that mental health services have been marginalised within health and social care. There is even more serious neglect of the specific issues faced by different ethnic minorities.

This PhD study critically engages with the concept of ‘recovery’ which has become a dominant discursive feature in the UK mental health policies. It asks ‘what people recover from’ through a case study of Chinese mental health service users in the UK.

This research uses the rich narratives of the recovery journeys of Chinese mental health service users in the UK – a perceived ‘hard-to-reach group’ and largely invisible in mental health literature – to illustrate the myriad ways that social inequalities such as class, ethnicity and gender contribute to service users' distress and mental ill-health, as well as shape their subsequent recovery journeys.

Outcomes from this project contributes to the debate about the implementation of ‘recovery approach’ in mental health services and demonstrates the importance of tackling structural inequalities in facilitating meaningful recovery.
Effective start/end date30/09/0830/04/14

UN Sustainable Development Goals

In 2015, UN member states agreed to 17 global Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) to end poverty, protect the planet and ensure prosperity for all. This project contributes towards the following SDG(s):

  • SDG 3 - Good Health and Well-being
  • SDG 10 - Reduced Inequalities


  • Mental health
  • Chinese
  • Recovery
  • Inequalities
  • Mental health services
  • Mental health policies
  • Ethnic minorities