Supported housing for persons with serious mental illness and personal recovery: What do families think?

Int J Soc Psychiatry. 2018 Dec;64(8):707-714. doi: 10.1177/0020764018806928. Epub 2018 Nov 9.


Background and aims: Previous research on supported housing for people with serious mental illness focuses primarily on tenant/client experiences. The aim of this article is to present families' perspectives on the role of supported housing in recovery, utilizing the CHIME framework of personal recovery.

Method: Qualitative interviews were conducted with 14 families of individuals with serious mental illness living in supported housing. Participants were across five supported housing sites in four Canadian provinces.

Results: Families credited supported housing with helping tenants redefine a positive sense of identity, re-establish social relationships and regain control over their lives. Families were less confident about supported housing facilitating future employment or 'full' recovery, focusing on stability rather than continual improvement.

Conclusion: This is one of the first studies to report family perspectives on the role of supported housing in their loved one's recovery processes - both strengths and weaknesses.

Keywords: CHIME; Families; housing; recovery; serious mental illness.

MeSH terms

  • Attitude
  • Canada
  • Family / psychology*
  • Humans
  • Interpersonal Relations*
  • Mental Disorders* / psychology
  • Mental Disorders* / rehabilitation
  • Mental Health Recovery
  • Psychiatric Rehabilitation / methods*
  • Psychosocial Support Systems
  • Public Housing / organization & administration*
  • Qualitative Research
  • Self-Control
  • Social Environment*
  • Social Identification