Export file:


  • RIS(for EndNote,Reference Manager,ProCite)
  • BibTex
  • Text


  • Citation Only
  • Citation and Abstract

The transcendent voice of recovery mentors in mental health: a philosophical reflection

1 Department of Psychiatry and Addictology, University of Montreal, Canada
2 Department of Psychiatry, Yale University School of Medicine, USA

In a globalized world health and illness know no frontiers. Pandemics have never been limited to political borders and the contemporary campaigns to prevent them can be effective only when addressed not only internationally but also with the application of integrated disease management in order to respond to problems caused by the silo approach. In any case, it appears that global health has been constantly in redefinition. With this commentary a phenomenological redefinition of global health is proposed as an integrative strategy. Phenomenology prioritizes and investigates from the first-person point of view how the human being experiences the world, as it explores the unique meaning of the lived experience of being human. We are particularly interested in verifying if and how, from a first-person point of view, the lived experience of mental illness and of recovery can contribute to a more integrated definition of global health. In the field of mental health, formal peer support is a mentor/mentee relationship, and as such it is an emotional and practical support between two people who share a common experience of a mental health challenge or illness. Peer support is a system of giving and receiving help founded on key principles of respect, shared responsibility, and mutual agreement of what is helpful. It is about understanding another’s situation empathically through the shared experience of emotional and psychological pain. And when speaking in public, a recovery mentor accepts to disclose and to be recognized as a (former) mental health service user. That person knows that there is a possibility of being stigmatized, but yet remains courageously engaged towards the promotion of change and in solidarity with people who are suffering worldwide and who may not have this opportunity to speak freely.
  Article Metrics

Keywords global health; recovery mentorship; peer support; hermeneutic; whole-person care

Citation: Jean-François Pelletier. The transcendent voice of recovery mentors in mental health: a philosophical reflection. AIMS Public Health , 2019, 6(2): 135-142. doi: 10.3934/publichealth.2019.2.135


  • 1. Koplan J, Bond T, Merson M, et al. (2009) Towards a common definition of global health. Lancet 373: 1993–1995.    
  • 2. Watts N, Adger WN, Agnolucci P, et al. (2015) Health and climate change: Policy responses to protect public health. Lancet 386: 1861–1914.    
  • 3. Raguin G, Girard P (2018) Toward a global health approach: lessons from the HIV and Ebola epidemics. Glob Health 14: 114.    
  • 4. Macgregor-Bowles I, Bowles D (2017) Trump, Brexit, Right-wing Anti-globalisation, and An Uncertain Future for Public Health. AIMS public health 4: 139–148.    
  • 5. Kim J, Farmer P, Porter M (2013) Redefining global health-care delivery. Lancet 382: 1060–1069.    
  • 6. Havemann M, Bösner S (2018) Global Health as "umbrella term"-a qualitative study among Global Health teachers in German medical education. Glob Health 14: 32.    
  • 7. João B, Petryna A (2013) Critical Global Health, When People Come First: Critical Studies in Global Health, Princeton: Princeton University Press, 1–20.
  • 8. Ventres W, Boelen C, Haq C (2018) Time for action: key considerations for implementing social accountability in the education of health professionals. Adv in Health Sci Educ 23: 853–862.    
  • 9. Davies T, Lund C (2017) Integrating mental health care into primary care systems in low- and middle-income countries: lessons from PRIME and AFFIRM. Glob Ment Health (Camb) 4: e7.    
  • 10. Kilbourne A, Beck K, Spaeth-Rublee B, et al. (2018) Measuring and improving the quality of mental health care: a global perspective. World psychiatry 17: 30–38.    
  • 11. Ngui E, Khasakhala L, Ndetei D, et al. (2010) Mental disorders, health inequalities and ethics: A global perspective. Int Rev Psychiatry 22: 235–244.    
  • 12. Bozorgmehr K (2010) Rethinking the 'global' in global health: a dialectic approach. Glob Health 6: 19.    
  • 13. Davis R, Campbell R, Hildon Z, et al. (2015) Theories of behavior and behavior change across the social and behavioral sciences: A scoping review. Health Psychol Rev 9: 323–344.    
  • 14. Matthews J, Moran A, Hall A (2018) The feasibility of a theory-based self-regulation intervention in schools to increase older adolescents' leisure time physical activity behavior. AIMS Public Health 5: 421–439.    
  • 15. World Health Organization (2001) The world health report 2001-Mental Health: New Understanding, New Hope, Geneva: WHO.
  • 16. American Psychiatric Association, Global Mental Health. Available from: https://www.psychiatry.org/psychiatrists/international/global-mental-health
  • 17. Panksepp J (2014) Will better psychiatric treatments emerge from top-down or bottom-up neuroscientific studies of affect? World Psychiatry 13: 141–142.    
  • 18. Macfarlane S, Jacobs M, Kaaya E (2008) In the name of global health: trends in academic institutions. J Public Health Policy 29: 383–401.    
  • 19. Moldavsky D (2003) The implication of transcultural psychiatry for clinical practice. Isr J Psychiatry Relat Sci 40: 47–56.
  • 20. Pratt M (2012) The utility of human sciences in nursing inquiry. Nurse Res 19: 12–15.    
  • 21. Downie RS (2003) Medical humanities: a vision and some cautionary notes. Med Humanit 29: 37–38.    
  • 22. Rolfe A (2016) The mentor's role. Korean J Med Educ 28: 315–316.    
  • 23. Mead S, Hilton D, Curtis L (2001) Peer support: a theoretical perspective. Psychiatr Rehabil J 25: 134–141.    
  • 24. Tracy K, Burton M, Miescher A, et al. (2011) Mentorship for Alcohol Problems (MAP): a peer to peer modular intervention for outpatients. Alcohol Alcohol 47: 42–47.
  • 25. Farkas M, Boevink W (2018) Peer delivered services in mental health care in 2018: infancy or adolescence? World psychiatry 17: 222–224.    
  • 26. Strauss J (2010) Subjectivity and severe psychiatric disorders. Schizophr Bull 37: 8–13.
  • 27. Douthit N, Biswas S (2018) Global Health Education and Advocacy: Using BMJ Case Reports to Tackle the Social Determinants of Health. Front Public Health 6: 114.    
  • 28. Pelletier JF, Davidson L, Roelandt JL (2009) Citizenship and recovery for everyone : A global model of public mental health. Int J Ment Health Promot 11: 45–53.    
  • 29. Pelletier JF, Fortin D, Laporta M, et al. (2013) The Global Model of Public Mental Health through the WHO QualityRights project. J Public Ment Health 12: 212–223.    
  • 30. World Health Organization (2013) Mental Health Action Plan 2013–2020, Geneva: WHO.
  • 31. Pelletier JF, Auclair É (2017) The Global Model of Public Mental Health and Recovery Mentors. Sant Ment Que 42: 205–223.    


This article has been cited by

  • 1. Jean-François Pelletier, Larry Davidson, David Gaulin, Jonathan Bordet, Recovery Mentors as continuing professional development trainers for better recognition of the epistemic value of the experiential knowledge and improved access to recovery-oriented practices, AIMS Public Health, 2019, 6, 4, 447, 10.3934/publichealth.2019.4.447

Reader Comments

your name: *   your email: *  

© 2019 the Author(s), licensee AIMS Press. This is an open access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution Licese (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0)

Download full text in PDF

Export Citation

Copyright © AIMS Press All Rights Reserved