Professional views of supporting relatives of mental health clients with severe mental illness
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Original versionHjärthag, Persson, Ingvarsdotter, & Östman. (2017). Professional views of supporting relatives of mental health clients with severe mental illness. International Journal of Social Psychiatry, 63(1), 63-69. https://doi.org/10.1177/0020764016682268
Background: Supporting families where one person suffers from long-term severe mental illness (SMI) is essential, but seems hard to reach. The aim of this study was to examine professionals’ views of supporting relatives of persons with SMI. Material: Individual interviews mirroring personal narratives and group interviews reflecting group-processed answers were conducted among 23 professionals and analyzed thematically. Results: Three themes emerged: (a) information and group interaction reduces stigma and increases well-being, (b) professionals need to feel secure and confident about how the support structure works and (c) collaboration is difficult but required on several levels. Conclusion: Trusting relationships with families were considered important, although seldom achieved; professionals wished to feel secure in their role toward relatives of a person with SMI; and professionals wanted to feel confident when working together with other services to support families.