Community Mental Health Journal

, Volume 55, Issue 2, pp 318–330 | Cite as

Family Inclusion in Mental Health Service Planning and Delivery: Consumers’ Perspectives

  • Lauren WondersEmail author
  • Anne Honey
  • Nicola Hancock
Original Paper


Family inclusion in treatment planning and delivery for people living with mental illness is advocated in government policy but is yet to be widely translated into practice. While external barriers have been identified, including concerns about consumers’ best interests, little is known about consumers’ own views. This study explores consumers’ experiences and perspectives of including family in treatment. Semi-structured interviews were conducted with 13 adult consumers who could identify supportive family members. Data were analysed using constant comparative analysis. The findings indicated that the outcomes reported from family inclusion depended on who, how, how much and when family were included, and the degree of choice consumers had regarding these features For consumers to have real choice around these features, family inclusion needed to be accessible, families needed to be willing, and all parties needed to agree upon a consumer-centred purpose. Findings can aid health professionals to facilitate consumer choice.


Mental illness Adult Family inclusion Recovery 


Compliance with Ethical Standards

Conflict of interest

The authors declare no conflict of interest with respect to the authorship and/or publication of this article.


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC, part of Springer Nature 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Discipline of Occupational Therapy, Faculty of Health SciencesUniversity of SydneySydneyAustralia

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