Introduction to Mental Health Self-Help

  • Louis D. Brown
  • Scott Wituk


Mental health self-help (MHSH) refers to any mutual support-oriented initiative directed by people with mental illness or their family members. These initiatives have become increasingly widespread over the years and today MHSH initiatives outnumber traditional mental health organizations in the United States (Goldstrom et al., 2006). The goal of this book is to provide research-based insight into the development of effective MHSH initiatives. This chapter explores the defining characteristics of MHSH and reviews its historical development. Building on this foundation, the chapter examines several factors contributing to the growth and popularity of MHSH, along with an exploration of factors impeding the use of MHSH. Following is a discussion of future directions for research and practice. Finally, the chapter provides a summary of the topics covered by each subsequent chapter.


Mental Health Mental Illness Mental Health Problem Family Caregiver Mental Health System 


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC 2010

Authors and Affiliations

  • Louis D. Brown
    • 1
  • Scott Wituk
    • 2
  1. 1.Prevention Research CenterThe Pennsylvania State UniversityState CollegeUSA
  2. 2.Center for Community Support and ResearchWichita State UniversityWichitaUSA

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