206558 Real Opportunities for Community Integration for Mental Health Consumers Living in Independent Housing

Monday, November 9, 2009: 1:00 PM

Ana Stefancic, MA , PATHWAYS to Housing, Inc, New York, NY
Philip Yanos, PhD , Psychology Department, John Jay College of Criminal Justice CUNY, New York, NY
Sam Tsemberis, PhD , PATHWAYS to Housing, Inc, New York, NY
Two priorities in mental health policy and practice have emerged simultaneously: community integration of people with severe mental illness, and a shift from congregate housing toward independent scatter-site housing. Despite these priorities and advances in supportive housing, little is known about the true freedoms available for this population to integrate into the communities where they live: socially disadvantaged neighborhoods with potentially restricted opportunities and resources.

Research on environmental stressors and neighborhood disorder with the general population points to a host of mental health and social organization outcomes associated with neighborhood characteristics which may impact the potential for social participation in such communities. We report results from a study that uses the capabilities approach to shed light on the real opportunities for community integration available to people with severe mental illness living in independent scatter-site housing in Bronx, NY. Using community indicators, and individual interview data from 60 mental health consumers and 60 matched community members without psychiatric disabilities, we contrast their functionings to examine the extent of the differences, and use a regression model to examine the effect of neighborhood environment factors on the community integration of both groups.

Learning Objectives:
1. identify major components of community integration and social participation for people with severe psychiatric conditions . 2. identify differences and similarities in community integration between mental health consumers and non-disabled community members. 3. identify social-environmental factors affecting community integration.

Keywords: Recovery, Mental Illness

Presenting author's disclosure statement:

Qualified on the content I am responsible for because: Lead Investigator NIMH sponsored study - Center to Study Recovery in Social Contexts, NKI
Any relevant financial relationships? No

I agree to comply with the American Public Health Association Conflict of Interest and Commercial Support Guidelines, and to disclose to the participants any off-label or experimental uses of a commercial product or service discussed in my presentation.