• Lea Kolloen Hansen
  • Sanne Bøhlers
4. term, Social Work, Master (Master Programme)
Background: Loneliness is a social problem. Studies show, that parts of the Danish population are experiencing loneliness. However, there is a lack of research on adults with a long-term mental illness who lives in psychiatric housing facilities. This particular group of people are highly prone to loneliness due to their mental disorders and stigmatization from society. The aim of the study was to investigate two different perspectives - the subjective experiences of loneliness among the residents and how the professionals support the residents to achieve a meaningful everyday life.

Methods: This was a qualitative case study, based on semi-structured interviews with four residents and three professionals at the psychiatric housing facility Elvirashøj in Aarhus municipality. The age of the residents ranges between 30 and 65 years.

Results: The experiences with loneliness among the residents are associated with relations and stigma. In general the residents have a lack of close social relations, a tendency to isolate themselves in their apartments and self-stigmatize as a consequence of their mental illness. When describing their everyday life at Elvirashøj the residents experience deprivation in the three dimensions of well-being - having, loving and being. The professionals describe the working conditions and allocated resources as important factors that influence the way they support the residents to achieve quality of life. Furthermore they describe dilemmas in supporting the residents because of their need for social contact but lack of motivation to participate in activities.

Conclusion: Based on the residents’ subjective experiences with loneliness, we determine the residents as being chronically lonely. The combination of self-stigmatization and absence of social relations are of significant importance to how they experience loneliness. The professionals each have their own understanding of how they can support the residents to achieve a meaningful everyday life. They do, however, agree to prevent the social isolation through focusing on joint activities, aiming to build friendships among the residents and improve their social skills. The professionals find it difficult to support the residents in achieving a more meaningful everyday life due to the current circumstances of their working conditions and the fact that they are not able to prioritize individual activities outside of the housing facility.
Publication date1 Jun 2018
Number of pages75
External collaboratorAnonymt botilbud
Anonym Anonym Anonym
Information group
ID: 280130575