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Being resilient as described by people who experience mental illness

conference contribution
posted on 2008-01-01, 00:00 authored by Karen-Leigh Edward
Aim: The purpose of this research was to explore resilience as described by consumers of mental health services in Australia who have experienced mental illness.

Background: Most qualitative research pertaining to resilience has focused on child and adolescent groups. In relation to the Australian context there appears to be a paucity of qualitative studies on resilience and the experience of mental illness.

Method: The study utilized a phenomenological approach elucidated by Colaizzi as the philosophical underpinnings of the study. In keeping with Colaizzi’s (1978) approach to inquiry, information was gathered through in-depth, semi-structured individual interviews. Information analysis utilised Colaizzi’s (1978) original seven-step approach with the inclusion of two additional steps, making this study’s analysis a nine step process.

Findings: Emergent themes explicated from participant transcripts follow: Universality, Acceptance, Naming and knowing, Faith, Hope, Being the fool and, Striking a balance, Having meaning and meaningful relationships, and ‘Just doing it’. The emergent conceptualisation which encapsulated the themes was; Viewing life from the ridge with eyes wide open. - choosing to walk through the darkness all the while knowing the risks and dangers ahead and making a decision for life amid ever-present hardships.

Conclusion: The findings of this study suggest being resilient can be learnt and therefore, should be a fundamental consideration in guiding therapeutic interventions within the context of clinical practice.

History

Event

Australian College of Mental Health Nurses. Conference (34th : 2008 : Melbourne, Vic.)

Publisher

Australian College of Mental Health Nurses

Location

Melbourne, Vic.

Place of publication

[Melbourne, Vic.]

Start date

2008-10-06

End date

2008-10-10

Language

eng

Publication classification

E3 Extract of paper

Title of proceedings

ACMHN 2008 : Mental health nursing - a broad canvas : the art of mental health nursing in the age of technology and science : Annual Conference of the Australian College of Mental Health Nurses

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