The purpose of this paper is to explore, describe and interpret two research questions: How do persons with co-occurring mental health and substance abuse problems, living in supportive housing, experience belonging? How do residential support staff experience promoting a sense of belonging for persons with co-occurring mental health and substance abuse problems, living in a supportive housing?
Individual semi-structured interviews were conducted with five persons with co-occurring mental health and substance abuse problems living in supportive housing in a Norwegian district. In addition, one semi-structured focus group was conducted with nine residential support staff. All interviews were transcribed verbatim and analyzed using thematic analysis.
Analysis resulted in three main themes: “I do not go to sleep in my pajamas”, “Do I have a choice?” and “Be kind to each other”.
More research on how inclusive practices that are commonly described in guidelines actually affect the experience of residents and residential support staff is needed.
Practices that incorporate a communal and contextual understanding when assigning supportive housing are warranted.
By paying attention to the components of social recovery, this paper provides a nuanced understanding of how persons with co-occurring mental health and substance abuse problems, living in supportive housing, experience belonging. In addition, residential support staffs’ experiences with promoting a sense of belonging for this group are explored.
This paper is a product stemming from the research project: “From double trouble to dual recovery: increasing recovery-oriented rehabilitation and quality of life through collaborative partnership.” This project is funded by the Research Council of Norway for 2018–2021 and based at the Center for Mental Health and Substance Abuse, University of Southeastern Norway, in collaboration with the Norwegian University of Life Sciences. The authors acknowledge the support and assistance provided by various staff members and users of the Mental Health and Substance Abuse Services of the Municipality of Oslo serving Grünerløkka district in carrying out this research project.
Ogundipe, E., Sælør, K.T., Dybdahl, K., Davidson, L. and Biong, S. (2020), "“Come together”: a thematic analysis of experiences with belonging", Advances in Dual Diagnosis, Vol. 13 No. 3, pp. 123-134. https://doi.org/10.1108/ADD-03-2020-0002
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