A New Publication on Mental Health Service Users

Abstract: Objective. Mental health service users experience high rates of cardiometabolic disorders and have a 20–25% shorter life expectancy than the general population from such disorders. Clinician-led health behavior programs have shown moderate improvements, for mental health service users, in managing aspects of cardiometabolic disorders. This study sought to potentially enhance health initiatives by exploring (1) facilitators that help mental health service users engage in better health behaviors and (2) the types of health programs mental health service users want to develop. Methods.A qualitative study utilizing focus groups was conducted with 37 mental health service users attending a psychosocial rehabilitation center, in Northern British Columbia, Canada. Results. Four major facilitator themes were identified: (1) factors of empowerment, self-value, and personal growth; (2) the need for social support; (3) pragmatic aspects of motivation and planning; and (4) access. Participants believed that engaging with programs of physical activity, nutrition, creativity, and illness support would motivate them to live more healthily. Conclusions and Implications for Practice. Being able to contribute to health behavior programs, feeling valued and able to experience personal growth are vital factors to engage mental health service users in health programs. Clinicians and health care policy makers need to account for these considerations to improve success of health improvement initiatives for this population.

To read the complete publication, click here: Mental Health Users’ Perspectives Publication