The role of self-help groups in promoting well-being: experiences from a cancer group

Visram, Nazira and Roberts, Adrian and Seebohm, Patience and Boyce, Melanie J. and Chaudhary, Sarah (2012) The role of self-help groups in promoting well-being: experiences from a cancer group. Mental Health and Social Inclusion, 16 (3). pp. 139-146. ISSN 2042-8316

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Purpose – This article aims to describe how a self-help group for people with cancer helped members regain mental well-being. It is set within the context of the ESTEEM project which aims to develop guidelines for health and social care professionals on how to support self-help groups. Design/methodology/approach – The article is based on personal experience of belonging to the self-help group. It also draws on a participatory qualitative study of 21 self-help groups concerned with a range of health and social issues, carried out for the ESTEEM project. Findings – Group members regained a sense of control over their lives, developed supportive relationships and participated in collective activities. They saw other members redefine their identity, not as victims but as people with a purpose in life. Early findings from the ESTEEM project suggest that other self-help groups similarly promote social inclusion and mental well-being. Research limitations/implications – ESTEEM is a three stage programme still underway and conclusions are not yet finalised. Interview questions did not focus on well-being; the association emerged during analysis. Practical implications – The authors argue that the member-led nature of self-help groups is safe and effective in promoting well-being. Top-down monitoring and evaluation requirements are unhelpful. Social implications – This article and the ESTEEM project aim to increase the options available to commissioners and professionals wishing to promote mental well-being. Originality/value – Self-help groups are seldom mentioned in the literature on well-being. This article starts to fill this gap

Item Type: Journal Article
Keywords: Self-help group, Peer support, Mental health, Well-being, Cancer, Group development, Social inclusion, Mental illness, Health services, United Kingdom, Quality of life
Faculty: ARCHIVED Faculty of Health, Social Care & Education (until September 2018)
Depositing User: Repository Admin
Date Deposited: 09 May 2013 08:53
Last Modified: 09 Sep 2021 16:17

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