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Transition from institutional care to community care for residents of community care units in Greece: construction of the notion of “asylum” in community care units

Transition from institutional care to community care for residents of community care units in Greece: construction of the notion of “asylum” in community care units

Lentis, Dorothea (2017) Transition from institutional care to community care for residents of community care units in Greece: construction of the notion of “asylum” in community care units. PhD thesis, University of Greenwich.

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Abstract

This study aimed to explore the shifting meaning of “asylum” for people with severe mental illness (SMI), who are residents of community care units (CCUs), by comparing and contrasting participants’ experiences of CCUs with their previous lives in institutions. Currently, there is a gap in the Greek context in the field of qualitative studies exploring the issues of deinstitutionalisation and community care based on residents’ and staff members’ experiences.

Semi-structured interviews were conducted with residents (N=35) and staff members (N=20) of four CCUs run by Klimaka (a non-governmental organisation) in Attica, the legal advisor of Klimaka, two mental health officers, a psychologist and a psychiatrist from Dromokaition Mental Health Hospital. Data were analysed thematically.

Most residents felt that institutions provided a “temporary asylum” based on: 1) financial security; 2) stress-free daily routine; 3) segregation from the pressures of the outside world; 4) good or neutral relationships with staff; and 5) trust in their treatment. But most felt that the hospital had never become their actual home. All residents felt that CCUs offered them a temporary or permanent asylum, based on: 1) financial security; 2) enriched daily routine; 3) wider social networks; 4) an increased degree of freedom; 5) good relationships with staff; 6) trust in treatment, with increased awareness; and 7) absence of abuse. Twelve residents felt that the CCU was their permanent residence, while for seven of them it was a temporary one, before moving to more autonomous living conditions.

The study concludes that “Asylum” does not represent a physical entity, but a set of interrelated criteria which, if met by services, can be achieved for people with SMI anywhere.

Item Type: Thesis (PhD)
Uncontrolled Keywords: Severe mental illness; community care; Greece; asylum; deinstitutionalisation; mental health policy;
Subjects: R Medicine > RA Public aspects of medicine
Faculty / Department / Research Group: Faculty of Education & Health
Faculty of Education & Health > Department of Family Care & Mental Health
Last Modified: 05 Apr 2019 10:44
Selected for GREAT 2016: None
Selected for GREAT 2017: None
Selected for GREAT 2018: None
Selected for GREAT 2019: None
URI: http://gala.gre.ac.uk/id/eprint/23462

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