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Promoting the mental and physical wellbeing of people with mental health difficulties through social enterprise

Sandra Elaine Hartley (Department of Health Professions, Manchester Metropolitan University, Manchester, UK)
Gillian Yeowell (Department of Health Professions, Manchester Metropolitan University, Manchester, UK)
Susan Caron Powell (Department of Health Professions, Manchester Metropolitan University, Manchester, UK)

Mental Health Review Journal

ISSN: 1361-9322

Article publication date: 28 October 2019

Issue publication date: 7 November 2019

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261

Abstract

Purpose

Interventions that promote both mental and physical wellbeing have been advocated for people with mental health difficulties, as they have been found to engage less in healthy behaviours and have lower levels of physical fitness. However, no optimal approach to facilitate this undertaking has been identified. The purpose of this paper is to explore the experiences of people with psychological distress who accessed a social enterprise that fosters the building of positive social networks in the community, as part of a personalised recovery programme. The intention was to gain an insight into its therapeutic effect in relation to mental and physical health.

Design/methodology/approach

An exploratory survey design was undertaken with a purposive sample of 50 individuals who had attended the enterprise. Descriptive statistics and thematic analysis were employed to analyse the data from both closed and open-ended questions.

Findings

The wellbeing service appeared to provide a supportive environment that offered people access to social networks through their participation in local services and activities. Fostering participants’ active participation, connection building and the ability to make meaningful contributions helped to facilitate health behaviours that had a positive impact on their health and wellbeing.

Originality/value

This study highlights the potential role of a social enterprise in optimising the social context for promoting the health and wellbeing of people with mental health difficulties.

Keywords

Acknowledgements

The authors declare that there are no conflicts of interest. Ethical permission was provided by the University Ethics Committee: Application No. 1228.

Citation

Hartley, S.E., Yeowell, G. and Powell, S.C. (2019), "Promoting the mental and physical wellbeing of people with mental health difficulties through social enterprise", Mental Health Review Journal, Vol. 24 No. 4, pp. 262-274. https://doi.org/10.1108/MHRJ-06-2018-0019

Publisher

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Emerald Publishing Limited

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