Article

Some Recovery Processes in Mutual-Help Groups for Persons with Mental Illness; II: Qualitative Analysis of Participant Interviews

Evanston Northwestern Healthcare Center for Psychiatric Rehabilitation, University of Chicago, 1033 University Place, Evanston, IL 60201, USA.
Community Mental Health Journal (Impact Factor: 1.03). 01/2006; 41(6):721-35. DOI: 10.1007/s10597-005-6429-0
Source: PubMed

ABSTRACT Previous research suggests that consumer operated services facilitate recovery from serious mental illness. In part I of this series, we analyzed the content of the GROW program, one example of a consumer operated service, and identified several processes that Growers believe assists in recovery. In this paper, we review the qualitative interviews of 57 Growers to determine what actual participants in GROW acknowledge are important processes for recovery. We also used the interviews to identify the elements of recovery according to these Growers. Growers identified self-reliance, industriousness, and self-esteem as key ingredients of recovery. Recovery was distinguished into a process-an ongoing life experience-versus an outcome, a feeling of being cured or having overcome the disorder. The most prominent element of GROW that facilitated recovery was the support of peers. Gaining a sense of personal value was also fostered by GROW and believed to be important for recovery. The paper ends with a discussion of the implications of these findings for the ongoing development of consumer operated services and their impact on recovery.

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    • "An ongoing area of investigation has been to understand what makes peer support work. Among the components of peer support that have been identified as important are the personal characteristics of peers [25], the values embodied by peer support [9,26,27], the specific activities that fall under the peer support umbrella [2,28], and the processes through which peer support works to effect good results [4,7,9,26,29-31]. Despite the existence of quite a large literature that explores such components, several authors have called for more detailed empirical examination of these “critical ingredients” of peer support [19,22,32]. "
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    ABSTRACT: Background The extant literature suggests that poorly defined job roles make it difficult for peer support workers to be successful, and hinder their integration into multi-disciplinary workplace teams. This article uses data gathered as part of a participatory evaluation of a peer support program at a psychiatric tertiary care facility to specify the work that peers do. Methods Data were gathered through interviews, focus groups, and activity logs and were analyzed using a modified grounded theory approach. Results Peers engage in direct work with clients and in indirect work that supports their work with clients. The main types of direct work are advocacy, connecting to resources, experiential sharing, building community, relationship building, group facilitation, skill building/mentoring/goal setting, and socialization/self-esteem building. The main types of indirect work are group planning and development, administration, team communication, supervision/training, receiving support, education/awareness building, and information gathering and verification. In addition, peers also do work aimed at building relationships with staff and work aimed at legitimizing the peer role. Experience, approach, presence, role modeling, collaboration, challenge, and compromise can be seen as the tangible enactments of peers’ philosophy of work. Conclusions Candidates for positions as peer support workers require more than experience with mental health and/or addiction problems. The job description provided in this article may not be appropriate for all settings, but it will contribute to a better understanding of the peer support worker position, the skills required, and the types of expectations that could define successful fulfillment of the role.
    BMC Health Services Research 07/2012; 12(1):205. DOI:10.1186/1472-6963-12-205 · 1.66 Impact Factor
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    • "Considerable variation exists within these definitional boundaries and this book considers some of the most popular types of MHSH, including mutual-help groups (also known as self-help/mutual aid/mutual support groups), consumer-run drop-in centers, certified peer specialist programs, technical assistance organizations, advocacy organizations, and online self-help mutual aid groups. Other types of initiatives exist and several terms in the literature describe MHSH initiatives, including • mutual-help groups (e.g., Corrigan et al., 2005) • mutual support groups (e.g., Chien, Norman, & Thompson, 2006) • mutual aid groups (e.g., Kelly, Salmon, & Graziano, 2004) • self-help groups (e.g., Burti et al., 2005) • consumer-run organizations (e.g., Brown, Shepherd, Wituk, & Meissen, 2007) • consumer/survivor initiatives (e.g., Nelson, Lord, & Ochocka, 2001) • consumer drop-in centers (e.g., Mowbray, Robinson, & Holter, 2002) • consumer-operated self-help centers (e.g., Swarbrick, 2007) • self-help agencies (e.g., Segal & Silverman, 2002) • peer-run organizations (e.g., Clay, 2005) • consumer-run businesses (e.g., Kimura, Mukaiyachi, & Ito, 2002) • self-help programs (e.g., Chamberlin, Rogers, & Ellison, 1996) • consumer-delivered services (e.g., Salzer & Shear, 2002) • consumer-run services (e.g., Goldstrom, 2006). "
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    ABSTRACT: Mental health self-help (MHSH) refers to any mutual support-oriented initiative directed by people with mental illness or their family members. These initiatives have become increasingly widespread over the years and today MHSH initiatives outnumber traditional mental health organizations in the United States (Goldstrom et al., 2006). The goal of this book is to provide research-based insight into the development of effective MHSH initiatives. This chapter explores the defining characteristics of MHSH and reviews its historical development. Building on this foundation, the chapter examines several factors contributing to the growth and popularity of MHSH, along with an exploration of factors impeding the use of MHSH. Following is a discussion of future directions for research and practice. Finally, the chapter provides a summary of the topics covered by each subsequent chapter.
    08/2010: pages 1-15;
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    • "Considerable variation exists within these definitional boundaries and this book considers some of the most popular types of MHSH, including mutual-help groups (also known as self-help/mutual aid/mutual support groups), consumer-run drop-in centers, certified peer specialist programs, technical assistance organizations, advocacy organizations, and online self-help mutual aid groups. Other types of initiatives exist and several terms in the literature describe MHSH initiatives, including • mutual-help groups (e.g., Corrigan et al., 2005) • mutual support groups (e.g., Chien, Norman, & Thompson, 2006) • mutual aid groups (e.g., Kelly, Salmon, & Graziano, 2004) • self-help groups (e.g., Burti et al., 2005) • consumer-run organizations (e.g., Brown, Shepherd, Wituk, & Meissen, 2007) • consumer/survivor initiatives (e.g., Nelson, Lord, & Ochocka, 2001) • consumer drop-in centers (e.g., Mowbray, Robinson, & Holter, 2002) • consumer-operated self-help centers (e.g., Swarbrick, 2007) • self-help agencies (e.g., Segal & Silverman, 2002) • peer-run organizations (e.g., Clay, 2005) • consumer-run businesses (e.g., Kimura, Mukaiyachi, & Ito, 2002) • self-help programs (e.g., Chamberlin, Rogers, & Ellison, 1996) • consumer-delivered services (e.g., Salzer & Shear, 2002) • consumer-run services (e.g., Goldstrom, 2006). "
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    ABSTRACT: In deciding whether or not to collaborate with one another in a research partnership, researchers and members of mental health self-help (MHSH) initiatives should address several questions. What values will underlie the partnership? How will power be shared? What will the focus of the research be? What type of knowledge will be sought? How will the knowledge be used? What roles will the different partners play? In this chapter, we present a theoretical framework that aims to clarify how researchers and mental health self-helpers might answer these questions as they co-construct a research project. The framework consists of six elements: (a) values, (b) participation and power-sharing, (c) social programming, (d) knowledge construction, (e) knowledge utilization, and (f) practice. For each element, we discuss the main issues; we illustrate these issues with examples from both our work and that of others; and we note lessons learned and provide recommendations for future research and evaluation with MHSH initiatives. KeywordsParticipatory action research-Evaluation-Values
    12/2009: pages 39-58;
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