"It's Important to be Proud of the Place You Live In": Housing Problems and Preferences of Psychiatric Survivors

University of Waterloo, Ватерлоо, Ontario, Canada
Perspectives In Psychiatric Care (Impact Factor: 0.65). 03/2006; 42(1):42-52. DOI: 10.1111/j.1744-6163.2006.00054.x
Source: PubMed


It is important to understand housing and mental health issues from the perspective of psychiatric survivors. This paper reports findings from a series of focus group meetings held with survivors of mental illness to address issues concerning housing preferences and housing needs.
The discussions were recorded, transcribed, and analyzed using an ethnographic method of analysis. The themes that emerged related to oppression, social networks and social supports, housing conditions, poverty and finances, and accessing services. Participants described the ongoing stigma, discrimination, and poverty that reduced their access to safe, adequate housing.
They preferred independent housing where supports would be available as needed. Participants described the dilemma of having to choose between the housing they wanted and the supports they needed, since supports were often contingent upon living in a less desirable housing situation.
Nurses and other mental healthcare workers need to be aware of these issues for discharge planning, community support, and ongoing advocacy. The survivor voices need to be heard by decision-makers at various levels of government in order for housing policy to become more receptive to their realities.

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    • "The need for service providers to act as advocates in navigating the system was also expressed. The social welfare system, the housing system, the employment markets and the healthcare system have been identified as very challenging systems for psychiatric survivors to navigate without support from service providers or advocates (Benbow, Forchuk, and Ray 2011; Forchuk, Nelson, and Hall 2006). Peer support from consumer-survivor groups have also been identified as an important and inclusionary form of support for psychiatric survivors (Schutt and Rogers 2009). "
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    ABSTRACT: The purpose of this project is to better understand poverty and social exclusion of psychiatric survivors using a capabilities approach to social justice as part of a larger mixed-methods longitudinal study (N=380) in Ontario, Canada. Using thematic coding, four themes emerged: poverty, ‘You just try to survive’; stigma, ‘People treat you like trash’; belonging, ‘You feel like you don’t belong’; and shared concern and advocacy, ‘Everyone deserves housing’. This analysis provides a deeper understanding of poverty and other social determinants of experiences of psychiatric survivors, including the synergism of poverty and social exclusion.
    No preview · Article · Aug 2014 · Disability & Society
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    • "In line with findings of the present study, more than half of individuals with severe mental illness were not satisfied with their living situations (Kowalchuk 2003). They want safe, stable, affordable, and desirable housing that is appropriate for their level of functioning and located near the supports and services that they need (Forchuk et al. 2006; Kowalchuk 2003). "
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    ABSTRACT: The present descriptive study investigated the impact of socio-economic status in meeting the human rights needs among randomly selected recovered psychiatric patients (n = 100) at a tertiary care center. Data was collected through face to face interview, using structured Needs Assessment Questionnaire. The findings revealed that the participants from below poverty line were deprived of physical needs such as ‘electricity facilities’ (χ 2 = 6.821, p < .009) ‘safe drinking water’ (χ 2 = 13.506, p < .004) and purchasing medications (χ 2 = 9.958, p < .019). Conversely, participants from above poverty line were dissatisfied in emotional needs dimension i.e. ‘commenting on physical appearance (χ 2 = 8.337, p < .040), afraid of family members (χ 2 = 17.809, p < .000). Thus, there is an urgent need to implement mental illness awareness campaigns and government should take active steps for providing employment, disability pension, free housing, free treatment and free transportation service for people with mental illness to attend hospital or rehabilitation centres.
    Full-text · Article · Jan 2013 · Community Mental Health Journal
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    • "Finally, the need for independent-living support was emphasized by the interviewees in the present study. It was previously found that most mentally ill patients wanted to stay in their own apartment (Forshuk, Nelson, & Brent Hall, 2006; Seilheimer & Doyal, 1996). Independent living was linked both to an increased sense of competence and confidence and to greater satisfaction with ones’ accommodations (Seilheimer & Doyal, 1996). "
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    ABSTRACT: The aim of this qualitative study was to deepen the knowledge of how individuals with schizophrenia themselves describe what they need in order to increase their well-being in everyday life. Seven patients were interviewed. An open explorative approach was applied and grounded theory was used for the analysis resulting in five categories illustrating how patients with schizophrenia handle their struggle for a normal life. The patients stressed first the importance of receiving information about the disease: for themselves, for society, and for their families. Taking part in social contacts such as attending meeting places and receiving home visits were identified as important as well as having meaningful employment. They also pointed out the importance of taking part in secure professional relationships. Mainly they expressed the need for continuity in the relationships and the wish to be heard and seen by the professionals. Finally, interviewees addressed the need for support for sustaining independent living through practical housekeeping and financial help. To conclude, the participants in the present study described their need for help as mainly linked to activities in their overall life situation rather than just their psychosis.
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