Facts and figures

Scientific studies, including one random-assignment study, show that people involved in mental health self-help groups are hospitalised 50% less than people in comparable community programmes without self-help. The monetary savings from this alone are immense.

In 1993 the New York State Office of Mental Health, Bureau of Evaluation and Services Research, under the guidance of Edward Knight, PhD, and Sharon Carpinello, RN, PhD, conducted a study of self-help group leaders.

In all, 158 group leaders participated in the study, which showed that because of self-help:

  • 80% of the groups reported that their members stay out of the hospital more because of self help
  • 80% of the groups reported that their members are holding a job
  • 90% of the groups reported that their members are living more independently and are assuming more responsibility
  • 70% of the groups reported that their members have better family ties
  • 70% of the groups reported that their members are getting an education

The Center for the Study of Issues in Public Mental Health conducted research on self-help in 1995 (n=683) and found that an individual’s length of membership and level of activity in a self-help group are positively associated with higher self-esteem and higher confidence of recovery. Higher self-esteem and higher confidence of recovery are positively associated with reduction in symptoms and a return of employment.

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