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The power of identification. Peer support in recovery from mental illness
Stockholm University, Faculty of Social Sciences, Department of Social Work.
2010 (English)In: Scandinavian Journal of Disability Research, ISSN 1501-7419, E-ISSN 1745-3011, Vol. 12, no 2, 83-90 p.Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

Abstract: Peer support has been described as facilitating individuals’ recovery from mental illness and offer useful support, hope and encouragement. The aim of this study was to explore how individuals with experience of severe mental illness in Sweden perceived peer support facilitating their recovery.

The results from the grounded theory analysis of 24 in depth interviews illustrated that despite diagnoses of severe mental illness, often described in terms of an inability to interact with other people, the identification when meeting others with similar experiences was powerful. The participants described how peer support meant an end to isolation and became an arena for identification, normalization, connection and being important to others. Involvement in the peer support group was related to time and recovery stage, the participants pay attention to their own achievements in relation to peers and their recovery progress, comparing their level of wellness with that of their peers.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2010. Vol. 12, no 2, 83-90 p.
Keyword [en]
peer support, recovery, mental illness, gender
National Category
Social Work
Research subject
Social Work
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:su:diva-26711DOI: 10.1080/15017410903478956OAI: oai:DiVA.org:su-26711DiVA: diva2:211084
Available from: 2009-04-08 Created: 2009-04-08 Last updated: 2010-08-04Bibliographically approved
In thesis
1. Kvinnors och mäns återhämtning från psykisk ohälsa
Open this publication in new window or tab >>Kvinnors och mäns återhämtning från psykisk ohälsa
2009 (Swedish)Doctoral thesis, comprehensive summary (Other academic)
Abstract [en]

The overall aim with this thesis is to describe and analyze women’s and men’s recovery processes. More specifically, the aim is to determine what women and men with experience of mental illness describe as contributing to the personal recovery process. The point of departure for the studies was 30 in-depth interviews conducted with 15 men and 15 women. The selection of interview subjects was limited to individuals who had been treated in 24-hour psychiatric care and diagnosed as having schizophrenia, psychosis, a personality disorder, or a bipolar disorder.

 

Four studies have been carried.  Study 1 was a baseline article that examined what people in recovery from mental illness outline as facilitating factors to their recovery. The results that emerged from that study indicated areas for further analysis to condense the understanding of the recovery process. In study 2 the similarities and the differences in recovery described by women and men were examined. In Study 3 women’s and men’s meaning-making with reference to severe mental illness facilitate the recovery process were studied. The forth study explored how peer-support contribute to women’s and men’s recovery from mental illness.

 

The results emphasize recovery from mental illness as a social process in which relationships play a key role in creating new identities beside the mental illness. For a majority of the participants meeting peers facilitated the recovery process. The participants described how peer support meant an end to isolation and became an arena for identification, connection, and being important to others. Throughout these recovery processes the impact of gender has been emphasized. The results from this thesis provide new insight into gender as an important factor in understanding the recovery processes. The results from the four studies emphasize the mental patient, the psychiatric interventions and the individual recovery strategies as being influenced by gender constructions.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Stockholm: Institutionen för socialt arbete, Stockholms universitet, 2009. 170 p.
Series
Rapport i socialt arbete, ISSN 0281-6288 ; 130
Keyword
recovery, mental illness, gender, peer-support, meaning
National Category
Social Work
Research subject
Social Work
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:su:diva-26713 (URN)978-91-7155-795-7 (ISBN)
Public defence
2009-05-15, Aula Svea, Sveavägen 160, Stockholm, 10:00 (Swedish)
Opponent
Supervisors
Available from: 2009-04-24 Created: 2009-04-08 Last updated: 2013-07-09Bibliographically approved

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