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Experiences of receiving a peer support intervention for family members of individuals with mental illness

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dc.contributor.advisor McMahon, Jennifer
dc.contributor.advisor Coughlan, Barry Reynolds, Deirdre 2021-02-04T11:02:39Z 2021-02-04T11:02:39Z 2018
dc.description peer-reviewed en_US
dc.description.abstract Background: Since the deinstitutionalisation movement, many families have taken on the responsibility of caring for their family members with severe mental illness (SMI). Despite being recognised as a fundamental resource, family members frequently report that the support they are receiving from Mental Health Services is inadequate. Peer support has become an integral component of the mental health care system, which is evolving towards a recoveryoriented system. However, the existing literature on peer support for family caregivers, of individuals with SMI, is still very limited. Aim: To explore the lived experiences of receiving a Family Recovery Peer Support (FFRPS) pilot intervention for family caregivers of individuals with SMI. Method: The experiences of receiving FRIENDS Family Recovery Peer Support (FFRPS), 6- session pilot intervention, were explored through Twelve in-depth, semi-structured interviews were conducted with family caregivers who received FFRPS Findings: Using Interpretative Phenomenological Analysis, two superordinate themes were identified: 1) “You feel all their pain” and 2) “A vital experience of growth and healing through relationship”. Findings revealed that having a family member suffer with SMI was a traumatic experience, and one which caused strain within family relationships. Findings shed light on family caregivers’ unmet needs for emotional support. All 12 caregivers reported that receiving FFRPS was beneficial. The significance of genuine understanding in the context of experiential similarity was repeatedly identified as invaluable. Analyses also revealed a sequential journey of recovery, and post-traumatic growth, across family caregivers’ narratives. After receiving care within the FFRPS relationship, and having processed their own trauma, caregivers grew in strength and became more objective. This led caregivers to replace old strategies of providing care with mutually empowering ways of genuinely supporting their SMI family member. Conclusion: Findings support the roll out of FFRPS as a beneficial intervention for family caregivers of individuals with SMI. The strengths and limitations of this study are considered, followed by a discussion of the potential implications for clinical practice, education and policy. Suggestions for future research are also offered. en_US
dc.language.iso eng en_US
dc.publisher University of Limerick en_US
dc.subject mental health en_US
dc.subject support en_US
dc.subject family en_US
dc.subject care givers en_US
dc.title Experiences of receiving a peer support intervention for family members of individuals with mental illness en_US
dc.type info:eu-repo/semantics/doctoralThesis en_US
dc.type.supercollection all_ul_research en_US
dc.type.supercollection ul_published_reviewed en_US
dc.type.supercollection ul_theses_dissertations en_US
dc.rights.accessrights info:eu-repo/semantics/openAccess en_US

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