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An Examination of the Community Participation Interests of Young Adults with Serious Mental Illnesses

  • Elizabeth C. ThomasEmail author
  • Gretchen Snethen
  • Amber O’Shea
  • John Suarez
  • Irene Hurford
  • Mark S. Salzer
Article
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Abstract

Participation in various aspects of community life (e.g., education, employment) plays a critical role in fostering young adult development and health. To support behavioral health services in addressing a broader array of meaningful community participation areas, the current study examined the participation interests of young adults with serious mental illnesses via a literature review and focus groups interviews. Literature review results revealed a range of community participation areas of interest to these individuals, including employment, education, religion and spirituality, social networking (e.g., using social media), volunteering activities, socializing, and civic and artistic participation (e.g., attending a political event, playing music). Focus group participants named many of these same areas, but also mentioned unique areas of participation that have not been the focus of previous research (i.e., playing games, sports, exploration of other communities (e.g., traveling), hanging out, and nature-based participation). Implications for future research and behavioral health practice are discussed.

Notes

Funding information

The content of this paper was developed with assistance from grant K08MH116101 from the National Institute of Mental Health. The content is solely the responsibility of the authors and does not necessarily represent the official views of the National Institutes of Health.

Compliance with ethical standards

Conflict of interest

The authors declare that they have no conflicts of interest.

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Copyright information

© National Council for Behavioral Health 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.College of Public HealthTemple UniversityPhiladelphiaUSA
  2. 2.Department of Social and Behavioral Sciences, College of Public HealthTemple UniversityPhiladelphiaUSA
  3. 3.College of EducationPennsylvania State University University ParkState CollegeUSA
  4. 4.Perelman School of MedicineUniversity of PennsylvaniaPhiladelphiaUSA

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