A Mixed-Methods Study of the Recovery Concept, “A Meaningful Day,” in Community Mental Health Services for Individuals with Serious Mental Illnesses
The recovery concept encompasses overcoming or managing one’s illness, being physically and emotionally healthy, and finding meaningful purpose through work, school, or volunteering, which connects one to others in mutually fulfilling ways. Using a mixed-methods approach, we studied the emphasis on “a meaningful day” in the new Opening Doors to Recovery (ODR) program in southeast Georgia. Among 100 participants, we measured the meaningful day construct using three quantitative items at baseline (hospital discharge) and at 4-, 8-, and 12-month follow-up, finding statistically significant linear trends over time for all three measures. Complementary qualitative interviews with 30 individuals (ODR participants, family members, and ODR’s Community Navigation Specialists and program leaders) revealed themes pertaining to companionship, productivity, achieving stability, and autonomy, as well as the concern about insufficient resources. The concept of “a meaningful day” can be a focus of clinical attention and measured as a person-centered outcome for clients served by recovery-oriented community mental health services.
KeywordsCommunity mental health Meaningful day Recovery Serious mental illness
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