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Results for 'mental health'

Results 31 - 32 of 32

The contribution of self-help/mutual aid groups to mental well-being

SEEBOHM Patience, et al

To explore the contribution of self-help/mutual aid groups to mental well-being this article draws on data from stage one of ESTEEM, a project which runs from 2010 to 2013. Stage one ran from 2010 to 2011 and involved participatory, qualitative research carried out in two UK sites. Twenty-one groups were purposively selected to include a range of focal issues, longevity, structures and ethnic backgrounds. Researchers carried out 21 interviews with group coordinators and twenty group discussions with members to explore the groups' purpose, nature and development. Preliminary analysis of the data suggested that mental well-being was a common theme across the groups. Subsequently the data were re-analysed to explore the groups' contribution to mental well-being using a checklist of protective factors for mental well-being as a coding framework. The findings showed that groups made a strong contribution to members' mental well-being by enhancing a sense of control, increasing resilience and facilitating participation. Group members were uplifted by exchanging emotional and practical support; they gained self-esteem, knowledge and confidence, thereby increasing their control over their situation. For some groups, socio-economic factors limited their scope and threatened their future. The article provides an evidence-base which illustrates how self-help/mutual aid groups can enhance mental well-being. If supported within a strategy for social justice, these groups enable people with varied concerns to develop a tailored response to their specific needs. The authors suggest that policy-makers engage with local people, investing in support proportionate to the needs of different populations, enabling them to develop their own self-help/mutual aid groups to enhance their sense of mental well-being.

Reducing social isolation and promoting well being in older people


A UK charity established a network of 70 friendship clubs in the south of England, facilitated by volunteers, with the aim of promoting well-being for older people. The charity provides venues and transport for participants to meet and enjoy activities locally every week for 2 hours. This article reports on a 3 year research project exploring the impacts of the intervention, using qualitative research methods and including participant observation and individual and focus group interviews. The study was based on 10 of the friendship clubs and collected information from 82 members and 18 volunteers. The article describes the intervention and the study methodology. It presents the results, with illustrative quotations from participants, covering views on the risk of becoming isolated, feeling isolated, and friendship and support. It identifies additional factors that can predispose an individual to become socially isolated, including environment and safety fears, fear of falling, and loss of confidence, and notes that even when living with their families older people can still feel socially isolated. It reports that club members and volunteers viewed themselves as assets for each other, offering support, advice and friendship, and that, overall, the perceived benefits for attendees of attending the friendship clubs fell into 3 key areas: improved well-being, social relations, and mental and physical health.

Results 31 - 32 of 32