The Importance of Holiday Trips for People With Chronic Mental Health Problems

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Although research findings point to the importance of leisure activities for people with severe mental illness, there is no research into the specific effects of holiday trips. This Open Forum describes the experience of going on holiday trips for people with chronic mental health problems in the Netherlands. A qualitative research design was used. Material for the research was collected by participant observation on two trips and in-depth interviews of 11 travelers and four psychiatric nurses who accompanied the travelers. The trips contributed to rehabilitation by promoting and supporting, among other things, community participation, social relations, skill development, and new perceptions of identity. The trips also helped travelers to maintain balance in everyday life. For the nurses the trips provided a learning environment outside of medical institutions. (Psychiatric Services 58:262–265, 2007)

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