Despite evidence that mutual support groups can be beneficial for those with serious mental illnesses, professionals have been reluctant to utilize this resource. We surveyed over 400 providers across several disciplines and settings within the state of Connecticut's public mental health system to assess their attitudes and practices regarding the use of mutual support groups for their patients. We found that being a rehabilitation worker and possessing more advanced training, greater numbers of years in their setting and discipline, and personal experience with psychiatric disorders or mutual support were associated with more favorable attitudes and behaviors toward mutual support. In addition, traditional 12-step groups (e.g., Alcoholics Anonymous) were viewed more favorably than psychiatric mutual support groups. Implications for educational efforts about the benefits of mutual support for those with serious mental illnesses are discussed.
This report is part of the RAND Corporation External publication series. Many RAND studies are published in peer-reviewed scholarly journals, as chapters in commercial books, or as documents published by other organizations.
Our mission to help improve policy and decisionmaking through research and analysis is enabled through our core values of quality and objectivity and our unwavering commitment to the highest level of integrity and ethical behavior. To help ensure our research and analysis are rigorous, objective, and nonpartisan, we subject our research publications to a robust and exacting quality-assurance process; avoid both the appearance and reality of financial and other conflicts of interest through staff training, project screening, and a policy of mandatory disclosure; and pursue transparency in our research engagements through our commitment to the open publication of our research findings and recommendations, disclosure of the source of funding of published research, and policies to ensure intellectual independence. For more information, visit www.rand.org/about/research-integrity.
The RAND Corporation is a nonprofit institution that helps improve policy and decisionmaking through research and analysis. RAND's publications do not necessarily reflect the opinions of its research clients and sponsors.