Community Mental Health Journal

, Volume 51, Issue 4, pp 467–476 | Cite as

Family Influence in Recovery from Severe Mental Illness

  • Heather Michelle AlderseyEmail author
  • Rob Whitley
Original paper


The aim of this study was to investigate the perceived influence of family on recovery from severe mental illness. 54 semi-structured interviews were conducted with a diverse sample of people with severe mental illness living in Montreal. Results indicated that family both facilitated and impeded recovery processes. Specifically, family facilitated recovery through providing (a) moral support, (b) practical support and (c) motivation to recover. However family impeded recovery through (a) acting as a stressor, (b) displaying stigma and lack of understanding, and (c) forcing hospitalization. The study indicates the importance of family psychoeducation in promoting recovery.


Recovery Family Severe mental illness Canada Quebec 



We would like to express appreciation to the clinicians and consumers whose participation made this study possible. We also gratefully acknowledge Marie-Eve Boucher, Anna Miller, and Aldric Reid for their work as research assistants on this project. We would like to thank the Canadian Institutes of Health Research who funded this research through an Open Operating Grant (231520).


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media New York 2014

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.School of Rehabilitation TherapyQueen’s UniversityKingstonCanada
  2. 2.Douglas Mental Health University InstituteMontrealCanada

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