HARFLETT Naomi, JENNINGS Yasmin, LINSKY Kate
This short scoping review identifies research on the impact and effectiveness of meaningful activity for people with mental health problems. Due to the lack of consensus on what is meant by the terms ‘meaningful activity’ or ‘meaning activity’, the review focused on different activities, such as unpaid work and volunteering, horticulture, woodwork, arts and music, physical exercise and leisure. Searches were on a range of databases, including Social Care Online, and organisational websites for UK based research published from 2000. The review provides an overview of the quantity and quality of the research and a table summarising the 33 studies reviewed and their key findings. It also provides a summary of areas identified for future research. The review found that in the vast majority of the studies found people experience positive outcomes from participating in meaningful activity or occupation. These included: a sense of purpose or meaning to life, a structure or routine to the day, acquisition of skills, a sense of identity, social interaction and increased social networks, improved wellbeing, access to employment or education, improved confidence and improved self-esteem. However it notes that due to the high proportion of small-scale qualitative research studies, positive outcomes may be overstated. It also found no conclusive evidence to show that volunteering resulted in positive outcomes for people with mental health problems.
STARNINO Vincent R.
Studies show that a high percentage of people with serious mental illness (SMI) draw upon spirituality and religion, resulting in a call for practitioners to incorporate these as part of recovery-related services. A challenge is that there are differing definitions of spirituality and religion presented in the literature which could lead to confusion in practice settings. A qualitative study was conducted with 18 participants with SMI. Findings reveal that there are important nuances, and much overlap, related to how people with psychiatric disabilities define and conceptualize spirituality and religion. Three major conceptualisations of spirituality and religion are presented. Insights from this study are relevant to practitioners interested in incorporating spirituality as part of recovery-oriented practice.
This report looks at evidence about the provision of supported housing for people with mental health problems in England, including those with multiple needs and substance misuse, and presents key themes for its future development. It highlights the significant links between housing and mental wellbeing, indicating that factors such as overcrowding, insufficient daylight and fear of crime all contribute to poorer mental health. The review identifies a wide range of types of housing support, including help for people to remain their own tenancies to specialist supported accommodation, hostels, crisis houses and the Housing First approach. Although the review identified limited evidence about what kinds of housing support are most effective and cost-effective, small-scale studies suggest that housing support can reduce the costs of hospital stays. When looking at the type of support people want, the literature found most people prefer help in their own homes to being in sheltered or transitional accommodation. The report calls for better provision of housing support and also argues that housing support should be funded jointly by local authorities and the NHS to ensure that services are delivered in partnership between health, housing and social care providers.
This study aimed to inform the development of a new, recovery-oriented rehabilitation service, identify local needs and create a pathway for appropriate referrals, accelerating the build up of case-load. 1353 secondary service users subject to Care Programme Approach under four local community teams, an assertive outreach team and an early interventions service were surveyed using a purpose-made needs assessment and case identification questionnaire. Significant unmet need for rehabilitation and recovery-oriented interventions was found. The results were used to invite referrals, create a case-load of 150 and allocate the appropriate resources for the new team. The results highlight the untapped recovery potential among users of mainstream secondary mental health services and support investment in rehabilitation at a time of resource restriction. This work also supports a similar, evidence-based approach to targeting appropriate referrals during the development and the early stages of rehabilitation services.