"It's a safe space": Self-harm self-help groups

Boyce, Melanie J. and Munn-Giddings, Carol and Secker, Jenny (2018) "It's a safe space": Self-harm self-help groups. Mental Health Review Journal, 23 (1). pp. 54-63. ISSN 2042-8758

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Official URL: https://doi.org/10.1108/MHRJ-06-2017-0021


Purpose: The purpose of this paper is to present a qualitative analysis of the role of self-harm self-help groups from the perspective of group members. Design / methodology / approach: A qualitative case study approach guided the research, which involved working with two self-harm self-help groups and all regularly attending members. Findings: A thematic approach to the analysis of the findings indicates that self-harm self-help groups can provide a safe, non-judgemental space where those who self-harm can meet, listen and talk to others who share similar experiences for reciprocal peer support. Offering a different approach to that experienced in statutory services the groups reduced members’ isolation and offered opportunities for learning and findings ways to lessen and better manage their self-harm. Research limitations / implications: This was a small-scale qualitative study, hence it is not possible to generalise the findings to all self-harm self-help groups. Practical implications: The value of peers supporting one another, as a means of aiding recovery and improving well-being, has gained credence in recent years, but remains limited for those who self-harm. The findings from this research highlight the value of self-help groups in providing opportunities for peer support and the facilitative role practitioners can play in the development of self-harm self-help groups. Originality / value: Self-harm self-help groups remain an underexplored area, despite such groups being identified as a valuable source of support by its members. This research provides empirical evidence, at an individual and group level, into the unique role of self-harm self-help groups.

Item Type: Journal Article
Keywords: self-help group, peer support, self-harm, mental health, qualitative research
Faculty: ARCHIVED Faculty of Health, Social Care & Education (until September 2018)
Depositing User: Melanie Boyce
Date Deposited: 01 Dec 2017 10:51
Last Modified: 09 Sep 2021 18:57
URI: https://arro.anglia.ac.uk/id/eprint/702491

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