Knowledge and Perspectives of Domestic Violence Service Providers about Survivors with Mental Health Disability
Domestic violence (DV) impacts women’s mental health. DV survivors need access to services that can effectively assure safety and healing. DV service providers are positioned to provide accommodations for survivors who are experiencing mental health disability in order for survivors to fully engage with and benefit from DV-related services. Using qualitative methods, 11 focus groups were conducted with staff (n = 45) and administrators (n = 17) from five DV advocacy agencies and shelters in a Midwest state of the US to assess service providers’ needs related to working with survivors with mental health disability. Participants shared their personal experiences and challenges of working with survivors who have mental health disability. Findings point to the need to further build capacity within agencies to respond to the complex mental health needs of survivors. These findings also indicate the need for DV agencies to effectively implement integrated trauma informed care models that promote healing when working with DV survivors who have mental health disability.
KeywordsDomestic violence Mental health Service providers Substance use Suicide Trauma-informed care
This study was funded by NIJ grant OVC 2016-XV-GX-K012.
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