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Family carers: lived experience of caring for relatives with an SMI
Cleary, Anne; Walsh, Francis; Dowling, Maura
This study explored family carers’ lived experience of caring for a relative with an ongoing mental illness. An interpretative phenomenological approach was adopted. Participants (n = 8) were self-selecting and members of SHINE, an Irish voluntary organisation supporting people with mental illness and their families. Three super-ordinate themes were interpreted from the interview data. The first theme, ‘nobody told me this was the way it is’ represents participants’ experiences of not understanding what was happening to their relative and what they should do when their relative was first diagnosed. The second theme, ‘feeling excluded’, represents the participants’ sense of exclusion. For some, the reason for this exclusion was because of the confidentiality embedded in the Mental Health Act. The final theme, ‘you don't feel judged’ represents the importance of the support group to participants, especially at the beginning when their relative was first diagnosed. The study findings illustrate the importance of education for relatives, and the role support groups play in support and education.
Keyword(s): Serious mental illness; Family carers
Publication Date:
Type: Journal article
Peer-Reviewed: Yes
Language(s): English
Institution: NUI Galway
Publisher(s): Mark Allen Healthcare
File Format(s): application/pdf
First Indexed: 2019-03-23 06:45:07 Last Updated: 2019-09-20 06:42:38