An exploration of how recovery from mental illness and occupational engagement during this journey are experienced in a rural Scottish community
Background Recovery is considered to be a unique journey of finding meaning, after or in spite of a mental illness. Occupational engagement, which is doing meaningful activities that bring enjoyment or a sense of purpose, is believed to be valuable during a recovery journey as it supports positive mental health. There is currently a limited evidence base documenting the experiences of individuals who live in rural Scotland during their recovery journey from a mental illness and occupational engagement during this process. By gaining an insight into these unique experiences within this context, it will allow Occupational Therapists and other health professionals to have a better awareness of the issues that exist and support individuals accordingly. Process The literature review will consider the current evidence surrounding the recovery journey and in particular what this concept means for individuals experiencing mental illness. The review will also explore how occupational engagement is experienced during recovery, its value in promoting mental health and also the unique challenges individuals have to overcome. Finally, the review will conclude by evaluating how individuals in rural Scotland experience both recovery and occupational engagement. Method Informed by Interpretative Phenomenological Analysis, this research proposal seeks to gain an insight into the lived experiences of adults recovering from mental illness in Orkney, a rural Scottish island. The study aims to recruit 5 participants, aged 18-65, and explore their experiences through semi-structured interviews. There will be a focus on both the supportive and challenging aspects of rural living for recovery and how their ability to engage in meaningful occupations is affected in this context.