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The effectiveness of support groups: a literature review

The effectiveness of support groups: a literature review PurposeSupport groups are a common feature of the mental health support engaged by carers and consumers. The purpose of this paper is to update and consolidate the knowledge and the evidence for the effectiveness of mental health support groups.Design/methodology/approachThis paper is based on a systematic literature review of relevant databases around support groups for mental health. Support groups are defined as meetings of people with similar experiences, such as those defined as carers of a person living with a mental illness or a person living with a mental illness. These meetings aim to provide support and companionship to one another.FindingsThe results show that there is a consistent pattern of evidence, over a long period of time, which confirms the effectiveness of mental health support groups for carers and people living with mental illness. There is strong, scientifically rigorous evidence which shows the effectiveness of professionally facilitated, family-led support groups, psychoeducation carers support groups, and professionally facilitated, program-based support groups for people living with mental illness.Research limitations/implicationsThis research implies the use of support groups is an important adjunct to the support of carers and people with mental illness, including severe mental illness.Originality/valueThis research brings together a range of studies indicating the usefulness of support groups as an adjunct to mental health therapy. http://www.deepdyve.com/assets/images/DeepDyve-Logo-lg.png Mental Health and Social Inclusion Emerald Publishing

The effectiveness of support groups: a literature review

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Publisher
Emerald Publishing
Copyright
Copyright © Emerald Group Publishing Limited
ISSN
2042-8308
DOI
10.1108/MHSI-12-2017-0055
Publisher site
See Article on Publisher Site

Abstract

PurposeSupport groups are a common feature of the mental health support engaged by carers and consumers. The purpose of this paper is to update and consolidate the knowledge and the evidence for the effectiveness of mental health support groups.Design/methodology/approachThis paper is based on a systematic literature review of relevant databases around support groups for mental health. Support groups are defined as meetings of people with similar experiences, such as those defined as carers of a person living with a mental illness or a person living with a mental illness. These meetings aim to provide support and companionship to one another.FindingsThe results show that there is a consistent pattern of evidence, over a long period of time, which confirms the effectiveness of mental health support groups for carers and people living with mental illness. There is strong, scientifically rigorous evidence which shows the effectiveness of professionally facilitated, family-led support groups, psychoeducation carers support groups, and professionally facilitated, program-based support groups for people living with mental illness.Research limitations/implicationsThis research implies the use of support groups is an important adjunct to the support of carers and people with mental illness, including severe mental illness.Originality/valueThis research brings together a range of studies indicating the usefulness of support groups as an adjunct to mental health therapy.

Journal

Mental Health and Social InclusionEmerald Publishing

Published: Apr 9, 2018

References