“Well, shortly after a breakdown – I am
talking about my own experience – you
feel raw. You are very sensitive and you
are easily hurt. It is not easy to identify
with people’s intentions just after having
had a breakdown – it’s difficult to
identify with people’s intentions because
your thought patterns are very scattered,
and it’s like you are reaching up to grasp
some type of meaning of what’s going
on around you...”
Member of the Cape Consumer
Advocacy Body (CCAB)
Loss of
of interest
According to Anthony (1993), recovery is
“a deeply personal, unique process of
changing one’s attitudes, values, feelings,
goals, skills and/or roles. It is a way of living
a satisfying, hopeful, and contributing life
even with limitations caused by the illness.
Recovery involves the development of new
meaning and purpose in one’s life as one
grows beyond the catastrophic effects of
mental illness."
Valued outcomes according
to service-users
“ What was the most significant change, for you
personally, since participation in the programme?”
Cape Mental Health Society’s objectives
and aims for it’s Psychosocial
Rehabilitation (PSR) programmes
The four PSR programmes of Cape Mental
Health Society includes:
Fountain House clubhouse model,
Community-based support groups
(Rainbow Foundation),
Cape Consumers Advocacy Body (CCAB),
Supported housing (a group home called
Kimber House).
(Cape Mental Health Society, 2007)
Qualitative Design
9 Focus Groups
60% Schizophrenia
20% Bipolar Mood Disorder
10% Major Depressive Disorder
10% Other
= 44 service-users
Social connection and interaction
 Improved interpersonal interaction
and activity,
 Associated benefits of a supportive
Improved social skills.
opportunities for socializing and meeting
having somebody to talk to;
gaining friendships;
“I am glad to talk to people. I am glad to have
got friends at Fountain House. Friends in the
location (township) are not nice like the
friends I’ve got here at Fountain House. I am
better now I have got these friends.”
“safe space”
free of judgement and stigma
“... the group, having been able to come and
sit and relax, just be yourself, not any
judgments by other people on how you behave,
what they expect from you. And it helps the
confidence when you are away. And when you
are going through something bad, you think
back on the Wednesday [the group], it picks
you up, it helps you to cope through whatever
it is at that stage you are going through”
“safe space”
Includes encouragement and affirmation
“[Within the group] The encouragement part
and the motivation and inspiration as well.
Before, I couldn’t speak to anyone – I was
very shy, I had no confidence at all – I had no
dignity myself – I couldn’t look out or walk
outside; and since I’m over here, basically,
everything has changed for me. I see a
different outlook on life.”
an increase in a sense of belonging
normalisation which universality provide
within a group.
“People make you happy if they always ask
how you are today. You feel like you are
accepted in life....”
“...then I know this place [Fountain House],
and then I feel this is the place to be; and I
like this place, because I gain a lot of
experience from this place, you see.”
increased ability to relate to others;
increased ability to communicate and engage in
conversation; and
opening up, expressing one’s feelings and
sharing oneself.
“For me, PSR was the first step or so, on the
ladder to recovery. Even when you start off with
PSR you don’t want to participate and you see
everybody – old members – opening up and
confiding in one another, and then that helps
you to relate to people, which is one of the
steps crucial to the socialising.”
“I'm speaking from personal experience now, it [the
group] does help you, it gives you that confidence
to come out and talk and just take that first step
towards socialising, which was – for me – one of the
biggest steps of recovery.”
“...I have never thought of myself as a talkative
person, because I was a very shy person. And it
amazed me to see how many friends I have
collected over the years at Fountain House, so they
have also helped me a lot. I did not have to be on
my own anymore, I could sit in a group of people
and they would listen to what I have to say.”
Increased confidence,
gaining hope,
improved positive attitude,
self-knowledge and acceptance,
increase in motivation,
increased vitality,
increased awareness and interest in life,
finding purpose and meaning.
“It all made it worthwhile to continue with
my life and all that. If there had been no
Fountain House, I would just have gone
back, I most probably would have remained
very sick all my life. But now the quality of
my life has improved so much, I cannot
begin to tell you how happy – not happy, it
is not the word, how my attitude towards
life has, like, changed; from, like, negative
to much more positive.”
providing support and developing support
enhancing the socialising of its members and
building social skills,
providing a safe and secure environment;
fostering belonging,
providing hope,
personal growth through skills development
…providing safe spaces, creating opportunities
for meaningful interactions with others,
enhancing a sense of self
“I find it hard to trust people and to get their
trust – to trust in me – and to bond and have
a social life. I find that is very difficult to
PSR Group member
“...when you get to that situation
where you are feeling on top of things, you
are getting on well with your family, your
relationships are good – those are all
fantastic things and that can only help to
then keep you well.”
Member of (CCAB)
Thank You

Psychosocial Rehabilitation for people with mental illness in the