A narrative inquiry: moving on from homelessness for individuals with a major mental illness
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This narrative study explores the experience of 'moving on' from homelessness for individuals with major mental illnesses, after they have obtained permanent housing with supports. Twelve participants were interviewed up to three times over 6 months. There were various routes to homelessness, participants were homeless for varying lengths of time, and they described different journeys of 'moving on' in their lives. Place, and a series of places, were central for participants in this experience. The experience of homelessness for many could be described as 'on the move', in a circular pattern from shelter to shelter or street. Permanent housing and supports allowed participants to 'move on', reconnecting with family, getting jobs and planning for the future. Several participants wanted their stories used to send messages of hope, courage and survival. This study highlights the need for nurses to be aware of the concept of 'place' in the process of recovery from mental illness.
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