Choice and personal recovery for people with serious mental illness living in supported housing

J Ment Health. 2020 Jun;29(3):306-313. doi: 10.1080/09638237.2019.1581338. Epub 2019 Apr 4.


Background: The relationship between personal choice and mental health recovery in the context of supported housing has not been explored.Aims: To gain an understanding of how choice facilitates recovery processes in supported housing environments for those with serious mental illness (SMI).Method: Qualitative in-depth interviews were conducted with 24 tenants with SMI living in supported housing.Results: Choice while living in supported housing was a large contributor to wellbeing and mental health recovery. Tenants valued three domains of choice: (1) choosing to be responsible for one's life, (2) choosing how to organize one's social life and (3) choices that make them feel "at home".Conclusion: This is one of the first studies on choice and recovery for persons who have transitioned to supported housing. Findings reveal the need for research to move beyond focusing on choice of housing (e.g. housing type) and explore the scope and relevance of choice in housing.

Keywords: Canada; Supported housing; choice; mental health; recovery.

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Canada / epidemiology
  • Choice Behavior*
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Mental Disorders / rehabilitation*
  • Mental Health Recovery*
  • Mentally Ill Persons / psychology*
  • Middle Aged
  • Personal Autonomy*
  • Qualitative Research
  • Residential Facilities*