Hope changes meaning over time and in different cultures. Nonetheless, hope’s impact is now widely documented in recovery processes in the field of mental health. However, it is still not clear, what hope means in mental illness, why hope is so important for recovery and how hope can become an effective therapeutic tool in mental health services. The authors present an explorative survey on this topic, having used a focus group, they examine the points of view of 7 different people, i.e. users, professionals and volunteers of the department of mental health in Trieste. The analysis of the content of the focus group transcription revealed three key constructs of hope: a. overcoming the crisis; b. the critical role of interpersonal relationships; c. trust in the possibility of change. This study also highlights how human support - be it through closeness, or a set of beliefs on the possibility of recovering - represents a core component of hope. Recovery occurs when hope develops into trust, when there is a factual awareness that recovery will happen, and also when the process is largely under the control of the person concerned, or of entrusted people, chosen by the person concerned, considered to be valuable stakeholders. The results of this study advocate the use of approaches that contrast institutional inertia, enhancing relationships based on reciprocity and trust, and thus building concrete recovery processes.
Keywords: Hope, Mental Health Services, Recovery, Trieste, Trust, Psychosis.