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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