Meanings of well-being from the perspectives of youth recently diagnosed with psychosis

J Ment Health. 2014 Feb;23(1):25-30. doi: 10.3109/09638237.2013.841866.


Background: The phenomenon of well-being has attracted a surge of attention in mental health policy, clinical practice and research internationally. Yet, the definitions of well-being remain elusive, and there is limited understanding on its meanings from the perspectives of youth mental health service users.

Objective: This study explored the meanings of well-being from the perspectives of youth mental health service users diagnosed with psychosis in the past 3 years.

Methods: Using a qualitative approach, we conducted semi-structured interviews and participant-photography elicited focus groups with 17 youth recruited from an early intervention program for psychoses and a mental health program specializing in the delivery of psychiatric services to street youth. Analysis combined the methods of constructivist grounded theory and narrative inquiry.

Findings: The findings illustrate five key themes in participants' conceptualizations of well-being: multidimensionality; active oriented states; social environment; identity; and normality. Dimensions of well-being identified in participants' accounts include: psychological, physical, emotional, moral/virtuous, financial/material, spiritual, and social aspects.

Conclusions: Our heuristic framework for conceptualizing well-being, grounded in the narrative accounts of youth participants, can inform the future planning and design of interventions, research, and outcome measures pertaining to the well-being of youth recently diagnosed with psychosis.

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Emotions*
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Personal Satisfaction*
  • Psychotic Disorders / psychology*
  • Self Concept
  • Young Adult