Experiences of adult mental health care service users and their families upon discharge of mental health care service users, to their families in the Durban area, from Ekuhlengeni Care Centre during May 1999 to December 2001.
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This qualitative study explores the experiences of adult mental health service users as well as their families upon discharge of service users, to their families in the Durban area, from Ekuhlengeni Care Centre (ECC) during May 1999 to December 2001. In so doing, the aim was to ascertain the nature of mental health service users' adjustment to living in the community, their impact on the home environment, to identify gaps in community care and to provide suggestions on resolving these gaps. The study was guided by a qualitative research paradigm and utilized an exploratory descriptive research design. Availability sampling was used. Unstructured face-to-face, in-depth interviews were conducted with four mental health service users (MHSUs) and six family members. The results of the study reveal the many dilemmas that both MHSUs and their relatives experience because of the lack of support and services available in the community. There is overwhelming evidence to suggest that the environment is ill suited at all levels to meeting the needs of MHSUs and their relatives. This study examines the challenges experienced by MHSUs and their relatives and makes recommendations for practice and policy that can contribute to improved service delivery.