Happiness in severe mental illness: exploring subjective wellbeing of individuals with psychosis and encouraging socially inclusive multidisciplinary practice

Mankiewicz, Pawel D., Gresswell, David M. and Turner, Colin (2013) Happiness in severe mental illness: exploring subjective wellbeing of individuals with psychosis and encouraging socially inclusive multidisciplinary practice. Mental Health and Social Inclusion, 17 (1). pp. 27-34. ISSN 2042-8316

Full content URL: http://dx.doi.org/10.1108/20428301311305287

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Item Type:Article
Item Status:Live Archive

Abstract

Purpose-This paper seeks to extend the focus of positive psychology research to individuals with severe mental illness (SMI) to address an aspect of social exclusion experienced by this disadvantaged client group. Design/methodology/approach-The article summarises and builds on the outcomes of an earlier subjective wellbeing in psychosis study and arrives at original implications to challenge socially exclusive assumptions about limited emotional capabilities of those with SMI. The authors make suggestions for enhancing the wellbeing of people with SMI from the perspective of social inclusion. Data were gathered through validated self-report rating scales and analysed statistically. Findings-The levels of subjective wellbeing within the sample were shown to approximate those established in the general population. Depression was demonstrated to mediate the effects that the experience of psychosis had on participants' life satisfaction. Psychosis did not appear to prevent individuals from experiencing happiness, although when associated with depression, life satisfaction was lowered. Research limitations/implications- Because of the focus on subjective aspects of wellbeing, external indicators of objective quality of life were not explored. Individual appraisals of experiences of psychosis were not investigated. Originality/value-The study demonstrates that individuals with psychosis are capable of experiencing happiness. Thus, it challenges an aspect of a widespread socially exclusive assumption about limited internal capabilities of those with SMI. It also highlights that those with combined symptoms of psychosis and depression are in particular need of multidisciplinary support to enhance their wellbeing. © Emerald Group Publishing Limited. All rights reserved.

Keywords:Happiness, Mental health services, Positive psychology, Psychosis, Severe mental illness, Social inclusion, Subjective wellbeing
Subjects:B Subjects allied to Medicine > B760 Mental Health Nursing
Divisions:College of Social Science > School of Psychology
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ID Code:11460
Deposited On:07 Jan 2014 15:54

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