Healthcare, Vol. 12, Pages 1067: Community Inclusion Experiences While Establishing Community Mental Health Clubhouses in Taiwan: Perspectives from Mental Health Professionals

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Healthcare, Vol. 12, Pages 1067: Community Inclusion Experiences While Establishing Community Mental Health Clubhouses in Taiwan: Perspectives from Mental Health Professionals

Healthcare doi: 10.3390/healthcare12111067

Authors: Hong Hong Ching-Teng Yao

Community inclusion is a human right for all people, including people with mental illness. It is also an important part of individualized support to enable people experiencing mental illness to live in their preferred communities and to recover. In Taiwan, no study has investigated the social experiences of healthcare professionals. To fill this knowledge gap and inform ongoing mental health system strengthening, this study examined the not-in-my-backyard (NIMBY) phenomenon observed while establishing community mental health clubhouses in Taiwan and corresponding experiences of community inclusion. Data were collected through semi-structured interviews of 16 purposively sampled frontline healthcare professionals from Taiwanese mental health clubhouses. Data were analyzed using qualitative content analysis. Two themes were identified: “NIMBY phenomenon: Community residents’ resistance to clubhouses” and “Measures adopted by the clubhouse for community inclusion”. Two categories with eleven subcategories emerged. The findings demonstrate the following conclusions. First, the NIMBY phenomenon is related to the stigmatization and discrimination faced by individuals with mental disorders in society. Second, in Asian societies, mental disorders are associated with a particular social and cultural context. Third, the fear and rejection of individuals with mental disorders deepen their social exclusion. Forth, community mental health clubhouse models employ seven strategic approaches to community inclusion, listed as follows: capacity building for individuals, direct interaction with the public through community activities, provision of community services, life skills training, repairing and managing neighborhood relationships, assisting individuals in obtaining community employment, and conducting social education for community residents. Clearly, we need to combat social exclusion of people with mental illness and promote inclusive and accessible services and systems across sectors.

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