Shared-experience groups in a high-secure psychiatric hospital
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Shared-experience groups in a high-secure psychiatric hospital

Hannah Daniels Assistant psychologists, Rampton Hospital, Nottinghamshire at the time of the study
Deborah Skinner Assistant psychologists, Rampton Hospital, Nottinghamshire at the time of the study
Sarah Todd Forensic psychologist, Rampton Hospital, Nottinghamshire

Hannah Daniels and colleagues describe a study that explored the value and benefit of mutual support in a shared experiential mental health awareness programme

This study explores the benefits of shared-experience groups from a service user’s perspective, in a UK high-secure forensic mental health environment. Shared-experience groups have proved beneficial to treatment outcomes, however little research has investigated this in forensic settings.

A qualitative design was adopted with a sample comprising seven men who had participated in a mental health awareness course. They attended a focus group to share their experiences, which were recorded and anonymised. Thematic and saliency analysis identified three main themes: relating to others; increased understanding of mental health; and hope. These were all judged to be beneficial by participants.

The findings support the use of shared-experience groups in a forensic mental health population.

Mental Health Practice. 18, 4,14-21. doi: 10.7748/mhp.18.4.14.e947

Correspondence

Hannah.daniels@nottshc.nhs.uk

Peer review

This article has been subject to double blind peer review

Conflict of interest

None declared

Received: 03 November 2013

Accepted: 07 May 2014