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Recovery Letters: Addressed to People Experiencing Depression

by James Withey and Olivia Sagan Jessica Kingsley Publishers
Pub Date:
Pbk 232 pages
AU$24.99 NZ$28.69
Product Status: In Stock Now
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In 2012, The Recovery Letters was launched to host a series of letters online written by people recovering from depression, addressed to those currently affected by a mental health condition. Addressed to 'Dear You', the inspirational and heartfelt letters provided hope and support to those experiencing depression and were testament that recovery was possible.


Now for the first time, these letters have been compiled into an anthology for people living with depression and are interspersed with motivating quotes and additional resources as well as new material written specifically for the book. This powerful collection of personal letters from people with first-hand experiences of depression will serve as a comforting resource for anyone on the journey to recovery.

Introduction. 1. Losing. 2. Helping. 3. Finding. 4. Being. Afterword.

'This book contains messages of hope from the dark side, an antidote of rational belief to fight the lack of faith all depressives feel. The Recovery Letters, I have no doubt, has the power to save lives.'

- Tim Lott, journalist and author


'Writing or reading a letter strikes at the sense of isolation which is at the root of despair. Read this book, buy it for others, it's rare and powerful medication.'



'These letters are full of friendship and intimacy. It is possible to mend your way out of depression, and, believe me, you'll be all the better for it: more thoughtful, more receptive, and more at peace.'



'I found the letters so helpful when I was ill; one of the few things that reached me across the void.'

- Charlotte Garrett, Research Psychologist


'Powerful letters from people who've been there who know from experience that you won't always feel this way. Just one letter that really speaks to you could make a difference.'

- Claudia Hammond, broadcaster and writer


'Moving, beautiful in places and valuable: in a world in which effective treatment for the mentally ill remains as elusive as ever, this book has something rather important to offer. More than anything, the depression sufferer wants reassurance that recovery is possible. These letters from fellow travellers show that it is not just possible, but probable, that you are not alone, that others have been here, survived, recovered, and rejoined their lives. Their message: you can do the same.'

- Mark Rice-Oxley, author of Underneath the Lemon Tree: A Memoir of Depression and Recovery

James Withey is a trained counsellor working in the mental health profession. In 2010, James was diagnosed with clinical depression and attempted suicide and spent time in a psychiatric hospital where he developed the idea for The Recovery Letters. James speaks publicly about depression and has twice featured on Radio 4's 'All in the Mind' programme and has written for Inside Man and The Calm



Olivia Sagan leads the BA in Psychology at Bishop Grosseteste University, UK. She is a former counsellor and chartered psychologist and the author of Narratives of Art Practice and Mental Wellbeing: Reparation and Connection (Routledge 2014) and Narratives of Loneliness: Multidisciplinary perspectives from the 21st century (Routledge, 2017).