“‘It is a safe space’: self-harm self-help groups”

“‘It is a safe space’: self-harm self-help groups” PurposeThe purpose of this paper is to present a qualitative analysis of the role of self-harm self-help groups from the perspective of group members.Design/methodology/approachA qualitative case study approach guided the research, which involved working with two self-harm self-help groups and all regularly attending members.FindingsA thematic approach to the analysis of the findings indicates that self-harm self-help groups can provide a safe, non-judgemental space where those who self-harm can meet, listen and talk to others who share similar experiences for reciprocal peer support. Offering a different approach to that experienced in statutory services, the groups reduced members’ isolation and offered opportunities for learning and findings ways to lessen and better manage their self-harm.Research limitations/implicationsThis was a small-scale qualitative study, hence it is not possible to generalise the findings to all self-harm self-help groups.Practical implicationsThe value of peers supporting one another, as a means of aiding recovery and improving well-being, has gained credence in recent years, but remains limited for those who self-harm. The findings from this research highlight the value of self-help groups in providing opportunities for peer support and the facilitative role practitioners can play in the development of self-harm self-help groups.Originality/valueSelf-harm self-help groups remain an underexplored area, despite such groups being identified as a valuable source of support by its members. This research provides empirical evidence, at an individual and group level, into the unique role of self-harm self-help groups. http://www.deepdyve.com/assets/images/DeepDyve-Logo-lg.png Mental Health Review Journal Emerald Publishing

“‘It is a safe space’: self-harm self-help groups”

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Publisher
Emerald Publishing
Copyright
Copyright © Emerald Group Publishing Limited
ISSN
1361-9322
D.O.I.
10.1108/MHRJ-06-2017-0021
Publisher site
See Article on Publisher Site

Abstract

PurposeThe purpose of this paper is to present a qualitative analysis of the role of self-harm self-help groups from the perspective of group members.Design/methodology/approachA qualitative case study approach guided the research, which involved working with two self-harm self-help groups and all regularly attending members.FindingsA thematic approach to the analysis of the findings indicates that self-harm self-help groups can provide a safe, non-judgemental space where those who self-harm can meet, listen and talk to others who share similar experiences for reciprocal peer support. Offering a different approach to that experienced in statutory services, the groups reduced members’ isolation and offered opportunities for learning and findings ways to lessen and better manage their self-harm.Research limitations/implicationsThis was a small-scale qualitative study, hence it is not possible to generalise the findings to all self-harm self-help groups.Practical implicationsThe value of peers supporting one another, as a means of aiding recovery and improving well-being, has gained credence in recent years, but remains limited for those who self-harm. The findings from this research highlight the value of self-help groups in providing opportunities for peer support and the facilitative role practitioners can play in the development of self-harm self-help groups.Originality/valueSelf-harm self-help groups remain an underexplored area, despite such groups being identified as a valuable source of support by its members. This research provides empirical evidence, at an individual and group level, into the unique role of self-harm self-help groups.

Journal

Mental Health Review JournalEmerald Publishing

Published: Mar 12, 2018

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