New Mental Health Assessment Tool Takes Recovery Approach


“An innovative new way of assessing a person’s recovery from mental health problems has been developed by the mental health charity Penumbra and Abertay University,” states a press release from Scotland’s Abertay University. “Its innovation lies in the fact that it measures recovery, rather than symptoms and level of illness – the focus of most existing questionnaires.”

Instead of asking people about reductions in their symptoms of mental illness as a result of treatments or other changes, states the press release, the I.ROC or Individual Recovery Outcomes Counter asks about “how much control a person has over decisions that affect them, how much they value and respect themselves, and how much hope they have for the future.”

The questionnaire has been done up graphically in a booklet designed to help encourage and engage people in their own recoveries. The press release states that, “I.ROC has been created from the bottom up, in close collaboration with those experiencing mental health difficulties and those who support them – the first time the experiences of the people who actually use such tools has been taken into consideration in their development.”

Revolutionary shift in treating mental health problems (Abertay University press release on MedicalXpress, December 30, 2014)


  1. It’s hard to comment without seeing the instrument, but this is certainly not a new approach. Sally Rogers, Judi Chamberlin & colleagues developed the Empowerment Scale in 1997. In the the early 2000s, survivor/researchers Dumont, Ridgway,Onken,Dornan, & Ralph developed the ROSI (Recovery Oriented Systems Indicators) & Ridgway developed the Recovery-Enhancing Environment (REE) measure.

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    • That’s good information to know, Darby! So I guess it would only be radical or new if this kind of approach was adopted as standard practice. I guess it’s not surprising that this isn’t a new idea, but it seems quite contrary to everything I am seeing in day to day practice. I hope the concept catches on, but I’m not holding my breath…

      —- Steve

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