Supporting recovery: challenges for in-home psychiatric support workers

Shepherd, Nicole, Meehan, Tom and Humphries, Seiji (2014) Supporting recovery: challenges for in-home psychiatric support workers. Mental Health Review Journal, 19 2: 73-83. doi:10.1108/MHRJ-07-2013-0027

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Author Shepherd, Nicole
Meehan, Tom
Humphries, Seiji
Title Supporting recovery: challenges for in-home psychiatric support workers
Journal name Mental Health Review Journal   Check publisher's open access policy
ISSN 1361-9322
Publication date 2014-06-01
Year available 2014
Sub-type Article (original research)
DOI 10.1108/MHRJ-07-2013-0027
Open Access Status File (Author Post-print)
Volume 19
Issue 2
Start page 73
End page 83
Total pages 11
Place of publication Bingley, United Kingdom
Publisher Pier Professional
Collection year 2015
Language eng
Formatted abstract

– The concept of recovery is well accepted internationally as a guiding vision for mental health services. The purpose of this paper is to highlight the challenges faced by in-home psychiatric support workers in implementing this vision in their work with clients with severe psychiatric disability.


– The findings reported here are based on interviews with 27 support workers and ten managers of organisations providing support services. These were collected as part of evaluations of two supported housing programmes carried out between 2010 and 2011.


– Challenges faced by support workers coalesced around two areas: first, balancing the need to provide care with the need to promote autonomy and second, developing an effective working relationship while working mainly within a clients’ home.

Practical implications

– These challenges for support workers highlight tensions within the recovery vision that are not easily resolved. To ensure high quality, recovery-oriented care services are provided, support workers need access to training courses that focus on challenging areas of this work and should be provided with regular professional supervision.


– Existing literature on support workers has generally focused on the nature of the role and support worker interactions with other health workers. In this paper, the authors highlight difficulties faced by support workers in implementing the vision of recovery in their work. The paper provides important information for policy makers and managers who are designing service delivery systems that aim to promote recovery.
Keyword Home care
Supported housing
Support worker
Psychiatric disability
Q-Index Code C1
Q-Index Status Confirmed Code
Institutional Status UQ

Document type: Journal Article
Sub-type: Article (original research)
Collections: Official 2015 Collection
School of Medicine Publications
School of Psychology Publications
School of Social Science Publications
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Citation counts: Scopus Citation Count Cited 1 times in Scopus Article | Citations
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