Locating Community among People with Schizophrenia living in a Diverse Urban Environment

Kidd, S.A., Frederick, T, Tarasoff, L, Virdee, G, Lurie, S, Davidson, Lesley, Morris, David orcid iconORCID: 0000-0001-7372-8084 and McKenzie, K (2016) Locating Community among People with Schizophrenia living in a Diverse Urban Environment. American Journal of Psychiatric Rehabilitation, 19 (2). pp. 103-121. ISSN ISSN: 1548-7768 (Print)

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Official URL: http://dx.doi.org/10.1080/15487768.2016.1162757


Increasing the community participation of people with severe mental illness is a primary goal of recovery-oriented services. Despite this emphasis, the construct of community remains understudied and poorly articulated. This study provides an in-depth examination of the experiences, beliefs, behaviors, and spaces that constitute community participation for a highly diverse group of people with schizophrenia who are urban dwellers. An in-depth, longitudinal qualitative design was employed with 30 individuals with schizophrenia residing in inner-city neighborhoods in Canada’s largest city. For these individuals, community participation is a dynamic process, shaped by illness and non-illness-associated social relationships and spaces, self-concept, and the resources accessible to the person. The complexity of factors that are associated with “community” for people with schizophrenia, with overlays of culture, poverty, victimization, and discrimination, calls for a critical examination of the community rhetoric employed in practice and policy contexts.

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