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Community Mental Health Journal

, Volume 55, Issue 7, pp 1218–1225 | Cite as

A Place to Call Home: Hearing the Perspectives of People Living with Homelessness and Mental Illness Through Service Evaluation

  • Julie O’Donovan
  • Karen Russell
  • Pim Kuipers
  • Dan Siskind
  • Rachel A. ElphinstonEmail author
Original Paper

Abstract

There is an ongoing need to incorporate the perspectives of people in supported community housing to improve the provision of integrated mental health services. This study aimed to explore the satisfaction and experiences of people who have received supported housing and mental health services. We conducted a retrospective, mixed methods study using a data mining approach, analyzing consumer satisfaction survey responses collected on discharge from the service over a 7-year period. Responses from 178 consumers aged between 20 and 62 years were included. Quantitative results indicated that consumers rated the quality of services as relatively high. Analysis of qualitative responses identified seven themes describing people’s views on how they had benefitted from the service. Consumers reported benefits in terms of practical and emotional supports, responsiveness of the team to their needs, socialization and community integration, personal growth and recovery, and finding ‘my place’. Themes of learning and skills development were also important. These results suggest that practical support, together with emotional expressions of care and compassion are most valued by people who participated in this service. This research has implications for service evaluation and for future research, which may include focusing on the key role of connectedness, ‘my place’ and hope for recovery.

Keywords

Mental illness Housing Recovery Consumer engagement Service evaluation Lived experience 

Notes

Acknowledgements

We would like to thank Mr. Andrew Blythe for his contribution to the study. We would also like to acknowledge Mr. Geoffrey Lau and the MSAMHS leadership team as they provided dedicated research time for the first and second authors to complete this project.

Funding

This study was funded by an unrestricted competitive grant from the Princess Alexandra Hospital Research Support Scheme. DS is partially supported by an Australian NH&MRC Grant

Compliance with Ethical Standards

Conflicts of interest

JO and KR are employees of the THT. DS is an employee of MSAMHS which runs the THT. RE is an employee of MSAMHS however, is not involved in running any aspect of the THT service.

Ethical Approval

Ethical approval was provided for analysis of de-identified, retrospectively collected administrative data.

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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC, part of Springer Nature 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Metro South Addiction and Mental Health ServiceBrisbaneAustralia
  2. 2.Centre for Functioning and Health Research, Metro South HealthBrisbaneAustralia
  3. 3.The Hopkins Centre, Menzies Health Institute QueenslandGriffith UniversityBrisbaneAustralia
  4. 4.School of MedicineThe University of QueenslandBrisbaneAustralia
  5. 5.Recover Injury Research CentreThe University of QueenslandBrisbaneAustralia

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