MHCT Research Project – Social Isolation
The MHCT is proposing to begin a research project in July 2013 on the issue of social isolation and its impact on mental health consumers. We are currently going through the process of refining the project plan, recruiting collaborating organisations and seeking ethics approval.
Social isolation in people with mental health problems has a significant impact on wellbeing, recovery and participation in the community. People with severe mental illness are probably the most isolated social group of all. They fear rejection from others and may also feel overwhelmed by the thought of attempting to socialise, join group activities, form new friendships, or even, in extreme cases, go out at all. They may also try to conceal their condition from others, resulting in additional stress which can reinforce the impulse to isolate.
Isolation by people with mental ill health affects their families and carers and this project will also be speaking to carers about how this issue impacts on them and their health and wellbeing.
Despite the prevalence of loneliness and isolation among people with mental illness and the important role social contact has in helping people to recover, little research has been conducted on the issue, particularly in Australia. This project seeks to consult consumers about their relationships and whether they need more support, relevant services and programs and what they believe are the barriers for them in living a more connected life and accessing the support they need to do so.
This project will also be seeking the views of agencies which currently provide social and recreational supports to consumers.
If know of mental health consumers and carers who may like to participate in this study or if your organisation provides social or recreational programs for consumers, and you are interest in participating or would like more information please contact Elida Meadows, Policy and Research Officer at 62249222 or by email: firstname.lastname@example.org