This study evaluated the housing preferences of a representative sample of consumers with serious mental illness living in seven types of housing in Montreal, Quebec, and compared these with their case managers' housing preferences for them.
An inventory of all housing for this population was developed in consultation with administrators of three psychiatric hospitals and the regional health board. The inventory included seven categories: housing in a hospital setting, hostels, group homes, foster homes, supervised apartments, social housing (low-income housing or cooperative), and private rooming homes. A stratified random sample of 48 consumers was selected in each category. In all, 315 consumers and their case managers completed the Consumer Housing Preference Survey.
Most consumers preferred living in housing that offered them more autonomy than the housing in which they were currently living. Case managers preferred housing that offered some structure, such as supervised apartments. Forty-four percent of consumers preferred to live in their own apartment. More than a third of consumers preferred to live in their current housing.
When evaluating housing preferences, it is important to elicit the viewpoints of mental health consumers as well as their case managers. Special attention should be given to the type of housing where consumers currently live. A variety of housing, not just autonomous housing, is needed to meet the specific housing preferences of individuals with serious mental illness.
This article presents the results of an exploratory study on housing preferences of 315 people with serious mental illness living in seven types of housing in Montreal. The overall portrait that emerged from the study revealed that 22,0 % of the participants prefer to live in their own apartment, 16,0 % in HLM or OSBL, 14,1 % in a supervised apartment, and 11,5 % in a foster home. In addition, 31,7 % prefer the type of housing they were living in at the time of the study. The authors conclude that a variety of housing resources are necessary to meet the diverse needs of consumers.
The role of medication in the recovery of mental health consumers is important. In the context of a multi-site Canadian study on the meaning of recovery, five themes related to medication and recovery emerged from qualitative interviews with 60 consumers. For these consumers, recovery meant: finding a medication that works; taking medication in combination with services and supports; complying with medication; having a say about medication; and living without medication. Findings underlined consumers' need to communicate their concerns around medication and be supported in developing self-management strategies and more collaborative relationships with providers. The study suggests an expanded role for nursing practice in these areas.
Recovery is emerging as a worldwide paradigm in mental health. There is increasing recognition that the transformation of mental health systems to a recovery perspective requires collaboration among all stakeholders. Research to date has focused on the perspectives of service users and providers. The role and influence of organizational decision makers in the transformation process has been less studied.
This study reports findings from semi-structured interviews with decision makers on the implementation of recovery in Canada.
Decision makers view community-based services as most open to recovery-based approaches, and front-line providers as pivotal in implementing system change. Decision makers described their own role as limited to providing overall orientation and funding.
The shift to recovery must include active leadership from decision makers as a catalyst to change.