Social Support and Quality of Life Among Latinos With Mental Illness

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We examine the degree of social support and quality of life (QOL) among 60 Latinos with mental illness from a Community Mental Health Center of a large metropolitan Midwestern city. Additionally, we assess the relationship of both the quality and quantity of social support, and control for demographic factors as they all relate to QOL. Latinos had an average network of 3 contacts. Despite their small network, participants were satisfied with the quality of support they received. Their QOL was mixed, comparable to reports from non-Latinos with mental illness, and from the general population. Having better quality of social support being male and younger were associated with a higher QOL. Community treatment programs for Latinos with mental illness could benefit from focusing on nurturing existing networks, fostering social skills, and providing additional forms of support for those Latinos in need.

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