Recovery's Edge

An Ethnography of Mental Health Care and Moral Agency
Neely Laurenzo Myers
Vanderbilt University Press 2015
ISBN 9780826520807


In 2003 the Bush Administration's New Freedom Commission asked mental health service providers to begin promoting 'recovery' rather than churning out long-term, 'chronic' mental health service users. Recovery's Edge sends us to urban America to view the inner workings of a mental health clinic run, in part, by people who are themselves 'in recovery' from mental illness.

In this provocative narrative, Neely Myers sweeps us up in her own journey through three years of ethnographic research at this unusual site, providing a nuanced account of different approaches to mental health care. Recovery's Edge critically examines the high bar we set for people in recovery through intimate stories of people struggling to find meaningful work, satisfying relationships, and independent living. This book is a recipient of the Norman L. and Roselea J. Goldberg Prize from Vanderbilt University Press for the best book in the area of medicine.

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