The purpose of this paper is to explore, describe and interpret two research questions: How do persons with co-occurring mental health and substance abuse problems, living in supportive housing, experience belonging? How do residential support staff experience promoting a sense of belonging for persons with co-occurring mental health and substance abuse problems, living in a supportive housing?Design/methodology/approachIndividual semi-structured interviews were conducted with five persons with co-occurring mental health and substance abuse problems living in supportive housing in a Norwegian district. In addition, one semi-structured focus group was conducted with nine residential support staff. All interviews were transcribed verbatim and analyzed using thematic analysis.FindingsAnalysis resulted in three main themes: “I do not go to sleep in my pajamas”, “Do I have a choice?” and “Be kind to each other”.Research limitations/implicationsMore research on how inclusive practices that are commonly described in guidelines actually affect the experience of residents and residential support staff is needed.Practical implicationsPractices that incorporate a communal and contextual understanding when assigning supportive housing are warranted.Originality/valueBy paying attention to the components of social recovery, this paper provides a nuanced understanding of how persons with co-occurring mental health and substance abuse problems, living in supportive housing, experience belonging. In addition, residential support staffs’ experiences with promoting a sense of belonging for this group are explored.
Advances in Dual Diagnosis – Emerald Publishing
Published: Aug 26, 2020
Keywords: Social inclusion; Supportive housing; Social recovery; Qualitative participatory methods; Belonging; Co-occurring mental health and substance abuse problems