Community Integration of Transition-Age Individuals: Views of Young with Mental Health Disorders
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- Jivanjee, P., Kruzich, J. & Gordon, L.J. J Behav Health Serv Res (2008) 35: 402. doi:10.1007/s11414-007-9062-6
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This qualitative study examines the perceptions of young adults with mental health disorders of community integration. Fifty-nine young men and women participated in 12 focus groups whose aim was to gain understanding of what community integration means to them. Focus group questions also explored barriers and supports for their community integration, as well as their goals for the future and advice to others facing similar challenges. Themes that emerged were reported within the multiple domains that participants used to describe their experiences of community integration (or the lack thereof). This study highlights the desires of these young people to achieve goals in education and employment and to have friendships. Participants identified a pervasive lack of understanding of mental health and prevalent stigmatizing attitudes as resulting in challenges to their community integration. Implications of the study discuss roles for behavioral health services in encouraging empowerment, choices, and connections so that young people with mental health disorders may achieve their preferred levels of community integration.