Capabilities Approach: Contextualizing Participants’ Perspectives on Systems Barriers to Recovery

Ryan Petros, Phyllis Solomon, Sheila J. Linz, Marissa DeCesaris, Nancy P. Hanrahan

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

2 Scopus citations


Abstract: Mental health resources are designed to facilitate recovery for adults with psychiatric disabilities. Two participants of an autovideography intervention described systems barriers to recovery. Researchers employed narrative analysis, guided by the capabilities approach, to evaluate how participants storied their experiences. Participants made meaning from encounters with barriers in ways that oppose the spirit and advancement of recovery while engendering adaptive preferences. Findings indicate that inadequate resources attenuate wellbeing by increasing barriers that actively oppose recovery, and positive reframing of unaccommodating environments reinforces adaptive preferences and incapacity. Adequate resources are essential for successful recovery transformation within the mental health system.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)262-278
Number of pages17
JournalInternational Journal of Mental Health
Issue number4
StatePublished - Oct 1 2016

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Health Policy
  • Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health
  • Psychiatry and Mental health


  • mental health
  • mental health policy
  • mental health practice
  • narrative analysis
  • recovery
  • serious mental illness


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