Research Shows Self-Help Works
Self-Help Support Groups targeting mental health issues:
- Cut the re-hospitalization of mental health consumers by 50% (4) (7) (10) (12) (16) (19)
- Reduce the number of days spent in the hospital by one third (4) (10) (19)
- Reduce significantly the amount of medication needed to treat mental illness (4) (6) (19)
- Move large numbers of people out of the system into productive lives (4) (19)
- Empower participants to collaborate with clinical staff resulting in better adherence to medication regimes (12) (16)
- Effects are realized in weeks and sustained for years (4) (6) (16) (19) (22)
- Reduce drug and alcohol abuse (9) (11) (14) (18) (23)
- Reduce demands on clinicians’ time (8) (16)
- Increase empowerment (4) (6) (16) (19) (20)
- Provide community support—the suspected reason that people in developing countries recover from schizophrenia at nearly twice the rate that they do in developed countries (16) (24)
- Provide mentoring opportunities that improve the outcomes of both the mentor and the person being mentored (5) (17) (21)
- Reduce criminal behavior (14) (23)
- Increase family resources and reduce family stress (3)
- Increase consumer satisfaction (8) (16)
- Are underutilized by clinicians because of incorrect preconceived ideas about self-help and the lack of professional training on self-help (16) (22)
- Bond, G.R. (2001) “Implementing Supported Employment as an Evidenced-Based Practice” Psychiatric Services 52(3):313-322.
- Campbell, J & Leaver, J. (2003) Emerging New Practices In Organized Peer Support Alexandria, VA: National Technical Assistance Center for State Mental Health Planning and the National Association of State Mental Health Program Directors.
- Cook, J. A. et al (1999)”The Effect of Support Group Participation on Caregiver Burden Among Parents of Adult Offspring with Severe Mental Illness” Family Relations 48:405-410.
- Edmunson, E.D. et al (1982) “Integrating Skill Building and Peer Support in Mental Health Treatment” in Jeger, G. and Slotnick, R.S. (eds) Community Mental Health and Behavioral Ecology New York:Plenum Press pp. 127-139
- Emrick, C. D. et al (1993) “Alcoholics Anonymous: What is currently known?” in McCrady, B. S. and Miller, W. R. (eds) Research on Alcoholics Anonymous: Opportunities and Alternatives New Brunswick, N.J.: Rutgers Center of Alcohol Studies pp. 41-75.
- Finn, Lizzie (no date) “Mutual Help Groups and psychological wellbeing: A study of GROW, a community mental health organization” Paper distributed on the Self-Help Researchers’ listserv.
- Galanter, M. (1988) “Zealous Self-Help Groups as Adjuncts to Psychiatric Treatment: A Study of Recovery, Inc.” American Journal of Psychiatry 145(10):1248-1253.
- Hodges, J. Q. et al (2003) “Use of Self-Help Services and Consumer Satisfaction with Professional Mental Health Services” Psychiatric Services Vol 54 No. 8 1161-1163.
- Humphreys, K. & Moos, R. (2001) “Can encouraging substance abuse patients to participate in self-help groups reduce demand for health care?” Alcoholism: Clinical and Experimental Research 25:711-716.
- Kennedy, M. (1990) Psychiatric Hospitalizations of GROWers. Paper presented at the Second Biennial Conference on Community Research and Action, East Lansing, Michigan.
- Kingree, J. B. & Thompson, M. (2000) Mutual help Groups, Perceived Status Benefits, and Well-Being: A Test with Adult Children of Alcoholics with Personal Substance Abuse Problems” American Journal of Community Psychology 28:325-342.
- L. F. (1988) “Mutual Aid for Affective Disorders: The Manic Depressive and Depressive Association.” American Journal of Orthopsychiatry 58(1):152-155.
- Lieberman, M. & Snowden, L. (1994). “Problems in Assessing Prevalence and Membership Characteristics of Self-Help Group Participants.” In Powel, T. (ed) Understanding The Self-Help Organization: Frameworks And Findings pp. 32-49. Thousand Oaks, CA: Sage Publications.
- McAuliffe, W. E. (1990) “A Randomized Controlled Trial of Recovery and Self-Help for Opiod Addicts in New England and Hong Kong” Journal of Psychoactive Drugs 22(2): 197-209.
- Mental Health Policy Resource Center (1991) “The Growing Mental Health Self-Help Movement.” Policy In Perspective Washington, D.C.
- National Depressive and Manic-Depressive Association (1999) National DMDA Support Group Survey: Does Participation in a support group increase treatment compliance? Chicago: DMDA
- Powell, T.J. et al (2000) “Encouraging people with mood disorders to attend a self-help group” Journal of Applied Social Psychology 30:2270-2288.
- Pisani, V. D. et al (1993) “The Relative Contributions of Medication Adherence and AA Meeting Attendance to Abstinent Outcome for Chronic Alcoholics” Journal of Studies on Alcohol 54:115-119.
- Raiff, N.D. (1984) “Some Health Related Outcomes of Self-Help Participation: Recovery, Inc. as a Case Example of a Self-Help Organization in Mental Health” in Gartner, A. and Riessman, F. (eds) The Self-Help Revolution New York: Human Sciences Press pp. 183-193.
- Roberts, L. J. et al (1999) “Giving and Receiving Help: Interpersonal Transactions in Mutual-Help Meetings and Psychosocial Adjustment of Members” American Journal of Community Psychology 27:841-868.
- Sisson, R. W. (1981) “The Use of Systematic Encouragement and Community Access Procedures to Increase Attendance at Alcoholic Anonymous and Al-Anon Meetings” American Journal of Drug and Alcohol Abuse 8(3):371-376
- Snyder, M. D. and Weyer, M.E. (2000) “Collaboration and Partnership:Nursing Education and Self-Help Groups” Nursing Connections Vol. 13 No. 1 Spring
- Watson, C. G. et al (1997) “A Comparative Outcome Study of Frequent, Moderate, Occasional, and Non-attenders of Alcoholics Anonymous” Journal of Clinical Psychology 53:209-214.
- The World Health Report (2001) “Schizophrenia” in Mental Health: New Understanding, New Hope.
SHARE! Offers Research Opportunities
SHARE! makes a special effort to partner with researchers as all of SHARE!’s programs are informed by research. Past collaborations include: a) SHARE! arranging for surveys to be filled out by 100 to 200 SHARE! participants, b) reviewing manuscripts on self-help related topics, c) being primary informants for promising self-help support group practices and d) allowing students to study SHARE!’s structure and management. If you have an idea, we are happy to discuss it with you! Call (310) 846-5270 to speak to someone today regarding how SHARE! can partner with you on your research.
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