Community Mental Health Journal

, Volume 44, Issue 5, pp 337–345 | Cite as

Attitudes and Perceived Barriers to Working with Families of Persons with Severe Mental Illness: Mental Health Professionals’ Perspectives

  • Hea-Won Kim
  • Michelle P. Salyers
Original Paper


A state-wide survey of 453 clinicians serving people with severe mental illness in community mental health centers evaluated the degree to which they provide services to families and their perceptions of barriers to developing such services. Most clinicians did not provide many services to families and reported barriers related to the family or client (e.g., family’s lack of interest) and their own work environment (e.g., heavy workload). Clinicians who had received prior training on working with families provided more services, had more positive attitudes toward family, and felt more competent about their knowledge, confirming the importance of staff training.


Family services Training Barriers Providers’ perspectives Severe mental illness 



This project was supported by a grant from the Indiana Division of Mental Health and Addiction. We thank Hollie MacKay, Dawn Shimp, and Joy Piland for their help with this project.


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC 2008

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.School of Social WorkIndiana UniversityIndianapolisUSA
  2. 2.Department of PsychologyIndiana University-Purdue University IndianapolisIndianapolisUSA
  3. 3.ACT Center of IndianaIndianapolisUSA
  4. 4.VA HSR&D Center on Implementing Evidence-based PracticeRoudebush VAMCIndianapolisUSA
  5. 5.IU Center for Health Services & Outcomes ResearchRegenstrief Institute, Inc.IndianapolisUSA

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