Hospitalization of persons with mental illness may cause their family members to experience multiple stressors that stem from the hospitalization as well as from the duties of helping him or her. However, providing support services in psychiatric hospitals for family members has received only limited attention. To change this situation, mental health professionals in a psychiatric hospital in Israel developed an innovative family-centered practice model, the Family Members' Support and Consultation (FMSC) service center. We examined the significance to family members of the services they received from the FMSC service center in a study that included 20 caregivers. Ten participated in 2 focus groups of 5 participants each; 10 were interviewed personally. We implemented a thematic analysis to analyze the data. According to the participants, the staff of the FMSC service center provided support services that helped them cope with the stressors and difficulties they experienced within the context of the psychiatric hospital. The participants emphasized the significance of the immediacy and accessibility of support provided, as well as the positive effects of systemic interventions aimed at changing the relationships between family members and systems in the psychiatric hospital. Our findings show the importance of integrating a service that focuses on the needs of family members of persons with mental illness within a psychiatric hospital.
Bibliographical notePublisher Copyright:
© 2014 American Psychological Association.
- Mental illness
- Psychiatric hospital